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Mercedes-Benz is expected to reach its goal of becoming the largest premium carmaker four years early - a feat achieved, ironically, only after it stopped chasing market share and focused on making stylish high-tech cars loved by consumers.

Introducing an elegant, sporty design and establishing itself as a pioneer in new technologies like autonomous driving has helped revive the Mercedes brand which analysts say will help keep the Stuttgart-based carmaker ahead of the pack.

The achievement is a coup for Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche, who struggled to revive the company following a messy divorce from mass market brand Chrysler in 2007. Less than four years ago Zetsche faced restive shareholders, worried that the automaker was lagging behind rivals BMW and Volkswagen AG’s Audi brand.

"We had some deficits, cost and quality problems. Design was not top-notch. And with Chrysler we were no longer a pure premium carmaker," Zetsche told Reuters in an interview held late in 2016 in his office at Daimler's headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.

On Sunday, Daimler said it had sold 2.08 million Mercedes-Benz branded passenger cars in 2016, a lead that BMW, which has held the premium sales crown since 2005 and is due to release annual sales figures on Monday, is not expected to beat.

Including sales of the Smart brand, Daimler sold 2.23 million passenger cars last year, the company said.

Source: https://www.yahoo.com/news/mercedes...gest-premium-carmaker-055755179--finance.html
 
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