The head of Mercedes-Benz has issued a stirring letter to his employees urging them to fight back against rising luxury German rivals Audi and BMW.
Daimler CEO, Dr Dieter Zetsche, sent a motivational message to all Mercedes-Benz workers ahead of the summer break in Europe.
After the first six months of 2011, Mercedes-Benz has sold 610,531 vehicles around the world, compared with 652,970 by Audi and 689,861 by BMW.
Although Mercedes’ total sales have increased an impressive 9.7 per cent this year, both Audi and BMW have stepped up almost 18 per cent in the same period.
Dr Zetsche said everyone at Mercedes-Benz should use the success of its competitors for additional motivation for the remainder of 2011.
“In the long run we can't be content to be in a 'solid second' or even 'third' place: We are Daimler – we should be far ahead of the pack,” Dr Zetsche said, in the message posted by Automotive News.
Dr Zetsche said workers should be enthusiastic as many of the brand’s best products were still to come.
“Enjoy your summer and refill your tanks. Because in the second half of this year we're going to continue to play some hard offence!”
Mercedes-Benz holds a strong lead over its rivals in Australia, although the competition has caught up this year as Mercedes sales have slipped.
Mercedes-Benz Australia sold 9872 cars in the first six months of 2011, ahead of BMW on 8461 and Audi on 7974. Despite this, Mercedes sales are down 10.0 per cent for the year. BMW is down 3.7 per cent, while Audi has reversed the trend to be up 10.4 per cent.
At this time last year, Mercedes-Benz Australia was 2181 units ahead of BMW Australia and 3741 units ahead of Audi Australia. As of June 2011, it was just 1411 ahead of BMW and 1898 ahead of Audi.
Are we seeing a changing of the guard? Will Mercedes-Benz be usurped by Audi and BMW in Australia, and lose even more ground globally. Or will the original German giant fight back? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.