China to remain 'super market' into next year, Daimler's China chief says

Automotive Industry

Source: Automotive News Europe, 2021-11-25

Daimler's China sales will stay strong in 2022, 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% in 2020 to a record 774,000 despite the pandemic, and over 8% growth has been registered in 2021 so far, Troska told journalists.

"Everything speaks for the fact that China will be a super market in 2022 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 US EV giant Tesla.

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

With the number of Daimler EV models for sale in the country set to grow from one to five in 2022, Daimler will be able to better establish itself in the higher-priced premium car segment, he said.

Still, demand for fossil-fuel burning cars is likely to last for some time in China, Troska said, pointing to the large swathes of the country outside urban centers where charging infrastructure could be harder to come by. 

"It's a huge country, so in my view there will still be internal combustion engine cars in China for some time," Troska said.

Daimler has said that all new vehicle platforms from 2025 will be electric, with a view to producing all-electric only by 2030 where market conditions allow.

China, which is the world's largest car market and is responsible for a third of Daimler's revenues, has so far refrained from following Europe in setting dates for bans on production of fossil-fuel emitting cars.

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