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Posts Tagged ‘mercedes news’

Surge in Sales Propels Daimler Profits

Revenues up 6% as demand grows for new S-Class, other models.

by on Jul.23, 2014

Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche during a recent product unveiling. Mercedes plans to launch 30 new models by the end of the decade.

Promising to regain its once-formidable lead as the world’s top luxury car manufacturer, Daimler AG has unleashed an unprecedented product assault that has begun gaining traction with consumers – driving a surge in second-quarter sales and earnings for the parent of the Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands.

With revenues up 6%, to $42.4 billion, Daimler posted a net profit of nearly $3 billion for the April to June period. But perhaps more telling was the fact that earnings before interest and taxes, or EBIT, shot to 7.9% of revenue during the latest quarter, up from 6.4% a year earlier.

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“We are growing profitably, our strategy is bearing fruit,” said Daimler AG Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche in statement accompanying the earnings announcement. “We are very satisfied with the second quarter and continue to work effectively on structural improvements.”

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Following the Pied Piper: Study Shows Which Dealers Best at Closing the Deal

Despite claims of doing things better, Tesla falls far short of rivals.

by on Jul.08, 2014

Despite claiming it can do a better job of helping customers than franchised dealers, Tesla came in last in the latest Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index.

For many – perhaps most – motorists, buying a car is a process only slightly less painful than having a root canal. Yet some dealers do a markedly better job not only keeping potential customers satisfied but also making sure they close the deal. Who’s doing the best job is the subject of a new study that puts Mercedes-Benz at the top of the list, and battery-car start-up Tesla way down at the bottom.

It’s the first time Tesla has been included in the annual Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index, and it raises serious questions about the California carmaker’s claims to be doing things a better way with an approach that relies on factory-owned, rather than franchised, showrooms.

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“Today, car salespersons have become a lot more helpful” than they were barely a decade ago, said Fran O’Hagan, the analyst behind the Pied Piper study. But he cautions that it takes more than just a friendly attitude and the ability to answer a customer’s questions to close a deal while also keeping buyers happy. (more…)

Updated 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS Plays Peekaboo

Introduces new smart LED lighting system.

by on Jun.20, 2014

The visual changes are subtle, as Mercedes puts the emphasis on tech with the 2015 CLS.

Peekaboo. The new 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS can see you – thanks to a sophisticated new Multibeam LED headlamp system that can adapt to traffic, swivel around corners, and even anticipate the road ahead thanks to its camera and navigation systems.

From a styling standpoint, Mercedes largely stays with the swoopy shape that has made the CLS the benchmark in the coupe-like sedan segment. About the only notable exterior changes come with a revised bumper and larger air intakes.

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The focus of this mid-cycle update is on the technological side, but there fans will find plenty, from the new Multibeam LED lamps to the 8-inch infotainment display featuring the newest version of the Mercedes COMAND system.

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What Was Hot and Not in May

Convertibles are cold, despite the warm weather.

by on Jun.03, 2014

Porsche can barely keep up with demand for the all-new Macan sport-utility vehicle.

What’s hot and what’s not? One thing’s for sure: the U.S. new car market is back in gear after a chilly winter left many makers struggling with a shortage of buyers. But May saw shoppers flooding back into showrooms for what was one of the best months in a decade for the industry overall – and a number of players, notably including Jeep and Audi, set all-time records.

But, as always, the double-digit gains weren’t spread around uniformly. Volkswagen, for example, posted yet another decline, and appears to be losing even more momentum until its new, seventh-generation Golf hatchback finally reaches showrooms.

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Credit relatively stable fuel prices for the strong demand for pickups, big SUVs and other fuel-chugging models. Surprisingly, despite finally getting some warm weather, however, a number of convertibles were decidedly cold, at least in terms of sales.

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First Drive: Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

German automaker the latest to plug-into the battery-car market.

by on May.05, 2014

Mercedes enters the California battery-car market with the new B-Class Electric Drive.

With the debut of the new B-Class Electric Drive, Mercedes-Benz not only becomes the latest entrant into the fast-growing battery-car line-up, but also sets out to prove that everything you thought you knew about electric vehicles is wrong. Well, almost everything.

The battery-powered version of the maker’s European compact hatchback is certainly no stripped-down econobox. And you’re delivered a pleasant, neck-snapping surprise when you stomp on the throttle. As for the price tag, while significantly more than a Nissan Leaf or Ford Focus Electric, the Mercedes model is nonetheless reasonably affordable once federal and state incentives are calculated in.

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There is that little issue of range, however, that continues to plague the B-Class Electric and just about every other entry into the battery-car segment with the exception of the Tesla Model S. Ironically, Mercedes can thank that upstart start-up for some of the B-Class Electric’s most appealing attributes.

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New Products Drive Sharp Surge in Daimler Earnings

CLA, other line-up additions draw in new buyers for Mercedes brand.

by on Apr.30, 2014

Mad Men star Jon Hamm helped unveil the new S63 AMG 4Matic Coupe at the NY Auto Show.

With new models like the Mercedes-Benz CLA drawing in a new generation of buyers, the brand’s German parent Daimler AG reported its net profit nearly doubled during the first quarter.

The German maker had struggled to overcome a series of problems in recent years, notably including a slide in demand in China, but Mercedes’ rebound in that booming market further lifted the maker’s earnings to 1.086 billion Euros for the January to March quarter, or $1.498 billion, up from 564 million Euros a year earlier.

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“Our strategy is paying off,” said Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, “our investments are bearing fruit.”

In a statement accompanying its earnings, the maker predicted both revenues and earnings would “significantly increase” for all of 2014 as it gained ground in China while also boosting sales in more established markets like the U.S. and Europe.

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BMW, Mercedes Recall More than 400K Cars

German makers deal with stalling, tail light problems.

by on Apr.29, 2014

The 2012 BMW 3-Series is one of the many models targeted by the latest recall.

The list of recalls continues to lengthen as two German automakers – BMW and Mercedes-Benz – issued recalls for separate problems on more than 400,000 vehicles.

BMW is recalling 156,000 cars due to issues with aluminum bolts that secure the housing for the variable camshaft timing adjustment unit can loosen over time and may break and could cause stalling.

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The action covers the 2010-12 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series Gran Turismo and X3, X5, X6 and Z4 along with the 2011-2012 5 Series and 2012 6 Series vehicles. Additionally, BMW is extending the warranties for another 170,000 inline six-cylinder 2010-12 vehicles, which are not covered in the recall, to address similar problems if they arise. The vehicles were built between September 2009 and February 2012. (more…)

After Missteps, Daimler Hopes to Rebound in China

The faster it runs, the behinder it gets.

by on Apr.25, 2014

Officials from Daimler and BYD reveal the new Denza battery-car they jointly developed.

No issue has bedeviled Daimler AG more than China, where the company’s underwhelming performance lags archrivals BMW and Audi, which have used their successes with Chinese consumers to vault ahead of Mercedes-Benz in global sales.

Mercedes is hoping that this year’s Beijing Auto Show will serve as a tipping point, however, as it sets out to recapture some of the lost ground. Indeed, the China Daily suggested that Mercedes-Benz outspent its rivals at the crowded show this year in an effort to capture the attention of both the press and Chinese consumers.

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Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler’s board of management, made the long journey to China after skipping the New York Auto Show, and Daimler hosted separate press conferences for its Mercedes-Benz and Sprinter brands, as well as a joint preview of a new electric vehicle it will build with Denza, one of its Chinese partners.

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Audi A3 Wins World Car of the Year

Germans take clean sweep of five awards.

by on Apr.17, 2014

Scott Keogh, Audi of America’s CEO, clutches the large World Car Trophy in front of the Audi A3.

The Audi A3 was named the World Car of the Year during a ceremony at the New York International Auto Show Thursday, marking the second time the maker has captured the prestigious honor in recent years.

But there was something for everyone during the morning ceremony – at least if you were a German automaker, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche dividing up the four other trophies handed out for 2014.

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“This really represents what Audi does extremely well,” proclaimed Scott Keogh, Audi of America’s CEO, as he clutched the large World Car Trophy at the podium. “We couldn’t be prouder to win this award.” (more…)

Mercedes Offers First Hint of New GT Sports Car

“Going into Porsche 911 space.”

by on Apr.16, 2014

A look at the interior of the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GT AMG sports car due to debut later this year.

Watch your back, Porsche, you’re about to get a challenge from your cross-town rival, Mercedes-Benz.

Hours before the official opening of the 2014 New York Auto Show, Mercedes offered small group of reporters and dealers a brief tease of the all-new sports car it plans to launch later this year. And a top executive confirmed that the new Mercedes-Benz GT will take direct aim at the segment’s benchmark, the Porsche 911.

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For the moment, there aren’t many details to go on.  Mercedes offered up only a basic sketch of the exterior shape, along with some close-ups of the new GT’s interior, all done up in a seductive red leather.

But Steve Cannon, the CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, later told TheDetroitBureau.com, “We’re going into space the Porsche 911 has had all to itself for all these years.”

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