Merc targets small car segment
German auto maker Daimler wants to gain market leadership among premium vehicles in the small car segment as a way to overtake rivals Volkswagen-owned Audi and BMW.
"We are market leaders with our S, E and C-class limousines. So it is obvious which market position we are due in the small premium car segment," Zetsche told the Financial Times in an interview published on Monday.
"When it comes to revenues and profits, we are clearly leading BMW and Audi. This is the position that we want to maintain and expand," he said.
The German executive said Daimler was approached by General Motors and was in talks with Volkswagen as well as Fiat about possible alliances before it decided to conclude a tie-up with Renault last month.
Zetsche said Daimler had spoken to Fiat, VW and BMW, and had also been approached by Japanese rivals and GM, amongst others.
"There has hardly been any car maker that has not approached us. But we have come to the clear judgment that this [Renault] is definitely the best option."
Partners Nissan Motor Co and Renault and Daimler announced in April a broad strategic cooperation in the field of engine and vehicle development.
Daimler wants to achieve its operating profit margin of 10% by the second half of 2012, the Financial Times reported.