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Mercedes Merges China Sales Units in Push to Boost Deliveries

Daimler AG, the world’s third-largest maker of luxury vehicles, merged two Mercedes-Benz sales units in China to streamline operations in a bid to boost car deliveries by a third in the country by 2015.

The new unit, called Mercedes-Benz Sales Service Co., will coordinate distribution for the brand in China and is a 50-50 joint venture with Beijing Automotive Group Co. Ltd., the Stuttgart, Germany-based carmaker said today in a statement. Mercedes previously had separate units overseeing imported vehicles and locally made cars.

“With the establishment of the new sales company, we are now increasing the effectiveness of our sales organization and setting a course for long-term and sustainable growth,” Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche said in the statement.

The merger is a response to sluggish growth in China, the world’s largest auto market. Mercedes deliveries advanced 4.2 percent this year through November, trailing growth of more than 30 percent at Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Volkswagen AG’s Audi. Daimler last week appointed Hubertus Troska to a new management-board position to push China expansion.

Daimler is targeting China sales of 300,000 cars a year by 2015, compared with 223,000 last year in an expansion underpinned by 20 new and refreshed models over the next three years. Mercedes plans to add 50 dealerships annually in the country.

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