China to stay ‘tremendous market’ into subsequent 12 months

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Daimler logo can be seen ahead of the automaker’s annual general meeting on April 5, 2018 in Berlin. REUTERS / Hannibal Hanschke / file photo

BERLIN (Reuters) – Daimler (OTC 🙂 sales in China will remain strong over the next year, the automaker’s China chief said Thursday, adding that he is confident Mercedes-Benz is considering its share of the country’s electric vehicle market the low level of competition in Switzerland could increase the premium car segment.

Auto sales in China rose 12% last year, despite the pandemic, to a record 774,000, and this year has seen over 8% growth so far, Hubertus Troska told journalists.

“Everything speaks for the fact that China will also be a supermarket next year,” said Troska.

Daimler’s market share of electric vehicle sales is still small in China, said Troska, where the company competes with numerous Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers from Xpeng (NYSE 🙂 to Li Auto and Nio (NYSE 🙂 as well as the US electric vehicle giant Tesla (NASDAQ 🙂 . ).

Most Chinese companies, however, sell in the price range of 35,000 euros or less, Troska said, below that of Daimler.

Since the number of Daimler EV models for sale in the country is to increase from one to five in the next year, Daimler will be able to establish itself better in the higher-priced premium car segment, he said.

Still, the demand for fossil fuel cars in China is likely to continue for some time, Troska said, pointing to large parts of the country outside of the urban centers where charging infrastructure could be more difficult to find.

“It’s a huge country, so I think there will be internal combustion engine cars in China for some time to come,” said Troska.

Daimler has announced that all new vehicle platforms will be electric from 2025, with the goal of only producing purely electrically by 2030, if market conditions permit.

China, the world’s largest auto market and responsible for a third of Daimler’s sales, has so far not taken it to Europe when setting deadlines for production bans on fossil-fueled cars.

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