Daimler's (DAIGn.DE) chief executive is sticking to the company's long-term EBIT profit margin target of 10 percent for its Mercedes-Benz Cars division but is unclear when the company will reach it, he was quoted as saying in a newspaper interview on Sunday.
As long as the environment is so unclear it would be dishonest to name a date, Dieter Zetsche told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
The target remains realistic, even though we have to manage two enormous challenges at the same time: the crisis on the one hand and expenditures for the preparation of a CO2-free world on the other, he added.
Vehicle sales at Mercedes-Benz Cars fell 13.2 percent in August but the company said it expected higher unit sales at the division in the coming months.
Zetsche also commented on cooperation with BMW (BMWG.DE). Asked about why both sides were so reluctant to work together, Zetsche said: This is a wrong impression. We are cooperating much more ... than noticed by the public.
In May Zetsche had told Reuters that the company would like to expand plans for cooperation as equal partners with BMW beyond an agreement to bundle the purchasing of components.
Separately, a report by German magazine Focus said that Daimler Trucks chief Andreas Renschler was set to leave and that Wolfgang Bernhard, head of the company's vans business, would take over.
There is no reason to make a change on the management board level, Heinz Gottwick, spokesman for Daimler Trucks, told Reuters on Sunday.
Daimler Trucks is winning market share worldwide, although one thing still very much applies: margins are more important than quantity, he added. (Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Christiaan Hetzner; Editing by Greg Mahlich)