by Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) Nov 18, 2012
German auto giant Daimler plans to expand its board to include a member solely responsible for the company's China business to help iron out management troubles, a German magazine reported Sunday.
News weekly Der Spiegel said in its issue to hit newsstands Monday that Daimler planned to fill the newly created eighth seat on its board from within and would approve the position at the next supervisory board meeting.
When asked about the report, a company spokesman told AFP: "We do not comment on speculation."
While fellow German luxury car manufacturers Audi and BMW have raced ahead in the increasingly important Chinese auto market, Der Spiegel said Daimler's Mercedes-Benz models had been slipping behind for a few years despite steady sales growth.
Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche will have difficulty realising his goal of selling more cars worldwide than Audi and BMW by 2020 without boosting the company's position in China, according to the report.
Der Spiegel said a key factor holding Daimler back in China was the fact it had two separate distribution networks there that had failed to work together.
One sells cars from a German-Chinese joint venture and the other automobiles imported from Germany.
Daimler posted 11.1 billion euros in sales in China in 2011, up 22 percent from the previous year.
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