Mercedes Makes Niche Markets Its Strategic Focus

Sportiness and utility are the themes behind Mercedes-Benz Cars' nine global product launches planned for 2008. With the new C-Class contributing to the sales momentum begun by the redesigned '07 S-Class, the auto maker is striving to open up new market niches, Daimler AG Chairman and Mercedes division chief Dieter Zetsche says at the Detroit show. New are two iterations of the next-generation SL

Sportiness and utility are the themes behind Mercedes-Benz Cars' nine global product launches planned for 2008.

With the new C-Class contributing to the sales momentum begun by the redesigned '07 S-Class, the auto maker is striving to “open up new market niches,” Daimler AG Chairman and Mercedes division chief Dieter Zetsche says at the Detroit show.

New are two iterations of the next-generation SL roadster — an SL 550 and AMG SL63 — plus the GLK compact cross/utility vehicle unveiled at the show in concept form as the Vision GLK. Meanwhile, the M-Class CUV gets a facelift.

Last year's strong sales give Mercedes the confidence to splinter its approach to the market, as the auto maker clings to its goal of achieving a 10% return on sales no later than 2010, Zetsche says.

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