China to remain ‘super market’ into next year, Daimler says

BERLIN — Daimler’s China sales will stay strong next year, Hubertus Troska, the automaker’s China chief, said, adding he was confident that Mercedes-Benz could grow its share of the country’s electric-vehicle market given little competition in the premium car segment.

The brand’s car sales in China jumped 12 percent last year to a record 774,000 despite the pandemic, and over 8 percent growth has been registered this year so far, Troska told journalists.

“Everything speaks for the fact that China will be a super market next year as well,” Troska said.

Daimler’s market share of electric-vehicle sales is still small in China, Troska said, where it competes with numerous Chinese EV makers from Xpeng to Li Auto and Nio as well as U.S. EV giant Tesla.

However, most Chinese companies sell in the price range of 35,000 euros ($39,270) or less, Troska said, below Daimler’s range.

Separately, Mercedes-Benz is planning to build a new electric vehicle model in China starting in 2024 — the first new model made exclusively in the country, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources close to the company.

If sales are successful, the model could be exported to other markets, Handelsblatt reported, adding that a final decision was still underway.

Daimler declined to comment to Handelsblatt.

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