Company Overview: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz Logo

Mercedes-Benz Company Overview

Note: Statistics are for Mercedes-Benz Cars ONLY, unless otherwise noted. E.g. does not include Daimler Trucks or Mercedes-Benz Vans business units.

Summary

 Facts & Figures: Mercedes-Benz Cars

Headquarters

Stuttgart, Germany

Employees

97,835

(September 30, 2007)

EBIT

EUR 1,331 million

(Q3 2007)

Total Revenues

EUR 14,077 million

(Q3 2007)

Unit Sales

337,348

(Q3 2007)

Responsible Board of Management Member

Dr. Dieter Zetsche

The product portfolio of the Mercedes-Benz Cars division ranges from the premium vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-Benz AMG and Mercedes-Benz McLaren brands to the Maybach luxury sedans and the high-quality small cars of the smart brand. Most of these vehicles are produced in Germany, but the division also has production facilities in the United States, France, South Africa, Brazil, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and since the year 2006 also in China.

The division’s most important markets in 2006 were Germany with 28% of unit sales, the other markets of Western Europe (34%), the United States (20%) and Japan (4%).

History (U.S. Only)

Corporate History

Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), a wholly-owned subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler North American Holding Corporation based in Auburn Hills, is responsible for the sales, service and marketing of Mercedes-Benz and Maybach products in the United States. The company sold 248,080 vehicles in the U.S. in 2006, setting the highest sales volume in its history and achieving thirteen years of consecutive sales growth. MBUSA was founded in 1965 with headquarters in Fort Lee, New Jersey and moved to its current headquarters in Montvale, New Jersey in 1972. Prior to the founding of MBUSA, Mercedes-Benz cars were sold in the United States from 1957 to 1964 by Mercedes-Benz Sales, Inc., a subsidiary of the Studebaker-Packard Corporation. Max Hoffman was the first importer and retailer of Mercedes-Benz cars in the United States from 1952-1957.

History (Global)

Established in 1871, Benz & Cie. was the most important of several companies founded by Karl Benz. The Benz patent motor wagon was ahead of its times; by 1886, Benz had the first four-stroke engine. Karl Benz is credited as the inventor of the first "true" automobile since Daimler’s vehicle was a horse carriage adapted with an engine, whereas the 1886 Benz automobile had a chassis designed from scratch.

Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft-(DMG) was founded by Gottlieb Daimler and his partner Wilhelm Maybach in 1890. Daimler died in 1900 and Maybach left DMG in 1907. By then, Benz & Cie. and DMG were rivals. In 1924, owing to economic necessity after World War I, they entered into an "Agreement of Mutual Interest" valid until the year 2000. This initial agreement still allowed each company to manufacture and sell their products under their original brand names. After the official merger in June 28, 1926, the firm became known as Daimler-Benz.

The hyphenated brand name Mercedes-Benz was established after that merger. The brand name Daimler had been licensed for use on other automobiles in France and the United Kingdom, and was therefore not available to Daimler-Benz. Instead, the name of its seminal Mercedes model designed by Maybach over twenty years before was chosen for the DMG portion of the new brand. ("Mercedes" had been painted on a DMG vehicle used in races by a man in honor of his daughter, and became the formal name of a DMG model in 1902, see below.) Thus, Mercedes-Benz became the brand name applied to the models of one of the new firm. Because of its eponymous tie to Karl Benz and his early vehicles, Mercedes-Benz is also the name of the world’s oldest continuously produced automobile line.

As part of the 1926 merger, a new logo was created that would include a symbol for each and integrate the names of the two former companies. A three-pointed star had been designed by Gottlieb Daimler, to show the ability of his motors for land, air, and sea use. This star first appeared on a DMG model in 1909, so it was chosen for the new logo. The traditional laurel wreath symbol used by Karl Benz was added along with his name to complete the new logo. The logo with a plain ring, as seen today, was not used until 1937.

In 1998, Daimler-Benz and Chrysler agreed to combine their businesses — promoted as the "merger of equals" — and the new entity was named DaimlerChryslerAG. However, this was actually when Daimler-Benz bought out Chrysler.

On May 14, 2007, the separation of Daimler AG and Chrysler LLC was announced. Selling Chrysler has been seen as a positive move for Daimler by its shareholders, who hope that the separation will allow Daimler’s car brand Mercedes-Benz to be free to do what it does best without having the distractions of its heavily unprofitable U.S. partner Chrysler. However, Daimler retains a 20 per cent minority stake in Chrysler.

Products

The following passenger vehicles were in production in 2007:

  • A-Class Hatchback
  • B-Class Sports Tourer/Hatchback
  • C-Class Sedan, Sports Coupe & Wagon
  • CL-Class Coupe
  • CLK-Class Coupe & Cabriolet
  • CLS-Class "4 Door Coupe"
  • E-Class Sedan & Wagon
  • G-Class Cross-country vehicle
  • GL-Class SUV
  • M-Class SUV
  • R-Class Sports Tourer
  • S-Class Sedan
  • SL-Class Roadster
  • SLK-Class Roadster
  • SLR-McLaren High Performance Coupe & Roadster

Price

(All prices are base prices in Euros – Germany, unless otherwise noted. Prices exclude tax. Prices include the least expensive model and the most expensive model)

A-Class Hatchback

A150 CDI from €16,700 base to A200 CDI from €23,050 base

B-Class Sports Tourer/Hatchback

B150 from €19,400 base to B200 CDI from €25,250 base

C-Class Sedan, Sports Coupe & Wagon

C180 Kompressor from €25,200 base to C350 4Matic €39,250 base

C-Class Sport Coupé

C 180 Kompressor from €23,150 base to C 350 from €29,850 base

CL-Class Coupe

CL 500 from €92,750 base to CL 65 AMG from €184,500 base

CLK-Class Coupe

CLK 200 Kompressor from €32,850 base to CLK 63 AMG from €75,200 base

CLK-Class Cabriolet

CLK 200 Kompressor from €37,750 base to CLK 63 AMG from €80,700 base

CLS-Class "4 Door Coupe"

CLS 320 CDI from €49,500 base to CLS 63 AMG from €88,000

E-Class Sedan & Wagon

E 200 CDI from €31,750 base to E 63 AMG from €82,900 base

G-Class Cross-country vehicle

G 320 CDI 5-door from €60,400 to G 55 AMG from €98,600 base

GL-Class SUV

GL 320 CDI 4Matic from €55,800 to GL 500 4Matic from €74,950 base

M-Class SUV

ML 280 CDI 4Matic from €41,950 base to ML 63 AMG 4Matic from €83,400 base

R-Class Sports Tourer

R 280 from €39,250 base to R 500 4Matic from €59,550 base

S-Class Sedan

S 320 CDI from €58,550 to S 65 AMG from €181,050

SL-Class Roadster

SL 350 from €71,550 to SL 65 AMG from €178,950

SLK-Class Roadster

SLK 200 Kompressor from €30,200 to SLK 55 AMG €57,250

SLR-McLaren High Performance Coupe & Roadster

SLR Coupé $452,750 / SLR Roadster US$497,750 

Segmentation

For the U.S. market, MB USA caters to the luxury segment of the car buying market. The offer compact sedans in the C-class as well as full-sized saloons like the S-class. In recent years MB has expanded their segmentation to include several SUV models. The original MB SUV was the G-class (Gelandewagen), which has been in the MB lineup for more than 2 decades. Recent SUV additions have included the M and GL classes, in respective order of introduction. More recently MB Passenger Cars has launched the R-class, which is essentially a “luxury mini-van”. MB was the first European carmaker to introduce a luxury-class mini-van in the US market.

Outside of the US, MB caters to an even lower-end car buyer – in the sub-$30,000 range. These two lines include the A and B-classes. The U.S. segmentation is markedly more up-market, and in line with other luxury car competitors in the U.S., including Audi, Jaguar, and BMW. BMW has decided to bring the slightly more down market 1-series. MB plans to compete in an even more down-market segment via the Smart car, which is majority owned by MB. The Smart will go on sale in the U.S. for the first time in 2008 via the Penske Group’s sales channel. Audi has brought its A3 to the U.S. recently as a direct competitor, but Jaguar does not compete in the sub-$30,000 market, however they are increasingly moving up-market as they cut the X-type line in 2008, and replace the S-type with the XF. Plans for segmentation may, however, change as Ford sells Land Rover and Jaguar from its portfolio in the early 2008 timeframe.

Market Shares

Jan-Sept 2007                        Jan-Sept 2006                        %Change

Western Europe

4.6%                                    4.5%                                    +.1%

Germany

10.5%                                    9.6%                                    +.9%

U.S.

1.5%                                    1.4%                                    +.1%

Sales Numbers

Revenues

Jan-Sept 2007                        Jan-Sept 2006                        %Change

€38.705 Bn                        €37.015 Bn                        +5%

EBIT

Jan-Sept 2007                        Jan-Sept 2006                        %Change

€3.327 Bn                        €805 Mn                        N/A

Unit Sales

Jan-Sept. 2007            Jan-Sept. 2006            Change

928,557                         914,442                         +2%

Special Financial Write-offs for Jan-Sept 2007

Financial Support for Suppliers                         -€82,000,000

Costs for New Management Model             -€160,000,000

 

United States Sales History

Unit Sales

2006 – 248,080

2005 – 224,421

2004 – 221,610

2003 – 218,717

2002 – 213,225

2001 – 206,638

2000 – 205,614

1999 – 189,437

1998 – 170,245

1997 – 122,265

1996 – 90,844

1995 – 76,752

1994 – 73,002

1993 – 61,899

(Global) Model Market Share

A-/B-Class                         23%

C-/CLK-/SLK-Class             26%

E-/CLS-Class                         20%

S-/CL-/SL-Class/SLR/Maybach 9%

M-/R-/GL-/G-Class             14%

smart                                     8%

Total volume for previous year ending in September 2007:

1,265,912

Infrastructure

N/A

Production

Countries of Production

  • Germany
  • South Africa
  • Thailand
  • Malaysia
  • Argentina (Buses, Trucks and the van Sprinter. the first factory of Mercedes-Benz outside of Germany)
  • Brazil
  • India
  • Nigeria
  • United Kingdom (The SLR supercar is built here at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking).
  • Egypt
  • Austria
  • China
  • Turkey
  • South Korea (Mercedes-branded Musso and MB100 models manufactured by SsangYong Motor Company)
  • Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Mexico
  • USA

Key Suppliers

N/A