Battling to catch up with German rivals in China, luxury carmaker Daimler is shifting gears, giving local authorities unprecedented access to new Mercedes models and even tailoring engines destined for its home market to Chinese regulations.
For years, Daimler has lagged Audi (VOWG_p.DE) and BMW (BMWG.DE) in the world's biggest car market. Last year, Mercedes-Benz, the company's premier luxury brand, sold 228,000 cars there, compared to nearly 492,000 for Audi and over 362,000 for BMW.
"German carmaker push to regain ground"
This year, Daimler is starting production of its newest C-Class in China as well as Germany, a step-change for a manufacturer that had previously delayed local Chinese production of new models by months.
Beijing Benz Automotive Co. (BBAC), the joint venture company Daimler runs with Chinese partner Beijing Automotive Group Co., is also constructing a new production line for the compact GLA model.
[Read Full Article: Mercedes allows Chinese to peek under hood in Asia growth]