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Daimler signs 1.0-bn-euro production deal with Chinese partner

German auto giant Daimler said Friday it had signed a deal with its Chinese partner to expand production at their joint Beijing-based venture worth one billion euros ($1.4 billion). The deal, signed with Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC Group) during a visit to Germany by Chinese President Xi Jinping, will expand production capacity at Beijing Benz until 2015, it said in a statement. kjm/ric

Daimler says February sales growth very similar to January

GENEVA (Reuters) - Daimler <DAIGn.DE> Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said the growth rates for Mercedes-Benz in China were still strong. Mercedes-Benz had 45 percent sales growth in China in January. "It seems that February was very similar," Zetsche told Reuters Insider television at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday. Daimler's Mercedes-Benz unit said in January vehicle sales in China rose 11 percent in 2013 over the previous year and reiterated plans to sell more than 300,000 cars a year by 2015.

Daimler CEO says software services key for growth

GENEVA (Reuters) - Carmakers will need to ensure their vehicles can connect to mobile devices and the internet if they are to survive, Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche said on Monday. His comments came after Daimler's Mercedes-Benz said it would make cars compatible with new software developed by Apple, known as CarPlay. Daimler will also be offering compatibility to Android-based devices, the company added.

Daimler raises performance benchmark for profitability and pay

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Daimler AG <DAIGn.DE> is raising its performance bar by weeding out weaker rivals from a peer group it used to benchmark its profitability and senior managers' pay, the carmaker's annual report, published on Friday, showed. Under new rules for measuring Daimler's performance in 2014, Renault SA <RENA.PA> and Fiat SpA <FIA.MI> would drop out because their credit rating is below investment grade, and Volvo Cars would be excluded because it is unlisted, it said.

German automakers expand car sharing options in the hope of luring new buyers

BERLIN - Germans, once a nation of ardent automobile enthusiasts, are not buying cars as much as they used to. Instead, they're sharing them. The country has become the world's biggest user of one-way car sharing plans, where people can find a vehicle using their smartphone, drive it across town and leave it there without having to return it to a central base. The powerful auto industry first ignored the trend, but is now jumping on board. Some companies are betting big on car sharing, not just for short trips within cities, but also for longer ones between them.

Daimler sees new compact cars, S-class limo lifting performance

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Daimler <DAIGn.DE> is relying on new compact cars and its S-Class limousine to bring a step change in productivity and pricing, and to fix its China business, Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said on Friday. The maker of luxury limousines, offroaders and hatchbacks is aiming to raise the average return on sales at Mercedes-Benz Cars to 10 percent, from 6.5 percent in 2013 and 8 percent in the fourth quarter, to close the profitability gap with rivals.

Daimler drives to record sales, profits in 2013

German luxury auto maker Daimler achieved record sales and profits in 2013, and expects to achieve "significant" growth again this year, the company said on Thursday. "Daimler concluded the year 2013 with record levels of unit sales, revenue, EBIT and net profit," the car maker said in a statement. "The company anticipates renewed growth in 2014," it added. Net profit climbed by 28 percent to 8.72 billion euros ($11.8 billion) and underlying profit, as measured by earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), was up 23 percent at 10.82 billion euros.

Daimler CEO says succession currently not an issue

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Daimler <DAIGn.DE> Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche on Thursday sidestepped a question about whether he wanted to stay on beyond 2016, when his contract due to expire. "Now is not the time to think about another contract," Zetsche said in response to a question about whether he would step down or seek to have his contract extended beyond 2016. The recent departure of Daimler executive Andreas Renschler has sparked speculation that Zetsche may want to stay on.

Daimler sees profit rise as new models catch on

By Edward Taylor STUTTGART, Germany (Reuters) - Daimler <DAIGn.DE> forecast a jump in profit this year at its main luxury car division after strong sales of new models such as the S-Class limousine in the United States and China helped it to beat quarterly earnings forecasts.

Daimler drives to record sales, profits in 2013

German auto maker Daimler said on Thursday that it achieved record sales and profits in 2013, and it expects to achieve "significant" growth again this year. "Daimler concluded the year 2013 with record levels of unit sales, revenue, EBIT and net profit," the car maker said in a statement. "The company anticipates renewed growth in 2014," it added. Net profit climbed by 28 percent to 8.72 billion euros ($11.8 billion) and underlying profit, as measured by earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), was up 23 percent at 10.82 billion euros.
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