Mercedes, Daimler’s luxury car arm, which first edged ahead again of arch-rival BMW during the course of last year, thus retaking the global luxury car sales crown, has continued to consolidate its coveted lead during the opening three months of this year. Mercedes’ lead over second positioned BMW at this year’s first quarter mark widened to nearly 60,000 sold cars after still running almost neck and neck during the same period last year
Aside from its intensifying show of strength on the global luxury car sales stage, and as if to drive home today’s strapping good health of its global car business, Daimler also provided a first casual glimpse of its current financial well-being.
Ahead of the formal presentation of its first quarter financial results later this month, Daimler said its first quarter EBIT pre-tax profits nearly doubled to €4,008 million from the €2,148 million posted during the same three months spell last year.
Daimler’s bumper first quarter profits have been flattered by some exceptional gains, adding up to some €690m for the quarter.
That’s made up in part by a €183m exceptional gain from Daimler’s part-ownership of the
Formerly owned by Nokia, the HERE mapping business was sold to a prestige carmaker consortium made up of Audi, BMW and Daimler.
Again, the van business emerged as Daimler’s most profitable division. Its first quarter pre-tax margin zoomed to 11.9 per cent, comfortably beating the already glowing and improved 9.8 per cent margin posted by Daimler’s still high-flying prestige car division.
Audi setback, Chinese dealers threw spanner into the works
Audi, currently trailing its Mercedes and BMW peers in third position, and dragged down for yet another month by its deeply damaging dealer dispute in China, suffered a 6.8 per cent global sales setback in March.
It brings its first quarter sales deficit to 7.3 per cent, thanks entirely to a bruising 22.1 per cent plunge in its Chinese first quarter
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