The stakes have been raised again in the tense game of poker being played over the future leadership of the world’s still lucrative market for high-status cars, and in particular over the future premium sector position of hard-challenging Mercedes
Responding to the burden of import tariffs in China and elsewhere, and the commercial need for more natural hedging in the key US market, VDA (Germany’s Autoindustry Federation) figures reveal that last year a growing proportion of Mercedes’ high-image passenger cars were produced outside its high-wage German home patch.
Thanks ostensibly to an upsurge in China, upwardly mobile Mercedes comfortably retained its position as the fastest-growing prestige brand.
Whereas last year’s BMW Group and Audi global car production rose 5.3 and 1.4 per cent to a respective 2.3 million and 1.8 million units in turn, Mercedes’ same year global car production - including Smart - soared 18.1 per cent to a best-ever 2.13m cars, according to VDA numbers.
Fight on, it seems.
Mercedes, in terms of action rather than rhetoric, has given notice that for rivals BMW and Audi the free-wheeling days are
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