Mercedes Revamps the S-Class to Lure China's Wealthy Buyers

A carmaker revamps its top model to lure wealthy Chinese buyers

Daimler Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche was leaning back in the rear seat of a prototype Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan in 2010 when he realized it didn’t recline far enough. With wealthy consumers accustomed to sumptuous airline seats, he figured Mercedes needed to approach that level of comfort in its flagship model. “Engineers traditionally focus on the driver seat position,” Zetsche says. But “S-Class owners often experience their car from ‘the second row,’ especially in China,” where luxury cars are frequently driven by chauffeurs.

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