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Mercedes-Benz China head is CEO of the Year

By Lu Nengneng (Shanghai Daily)

08:45, November 22, 2012

CHINA'S auto market will grow strongly and Mercedes-Benz will launch many new models in the country next year, Klaus Maier, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz China, said as he received the CEO of the Year award from the National Business Daily yesterday as a perfect farewell gift.

Having presided over the company for nearly six years, the 50-year-old German auto veteran will become global head of sales and marketing of Mercedes-Benz Vans from next year.

Under his leadership, Mercedes-Benz China saw a 10-fold increase in deliveries from 20,000 units in 2006 to 200,000 units last year, an average growth of 60 percent annually, and may set a new sales record this year.

Maier was optimistic about the future development of Mercedes-Benz and China, he said in a speech at the award ceremony in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province.

"I firmly believe China will continue to be a main driver for the global economy as well as seeing further strong domestic growth," he said. "Going forward in 2013, Mercedes-Benz will boost the excitement for the brand with a constantly refreshed product portfolio and launches of many new models in China."

The German carmaker's remarkable performance is made possible by Maier's persistent efforts to foster a fresher and more youthful face to the luxury icon through diversifying its offerings in China. Its portfolio now includes the all-new M-Class SUV, the B-Class compact sports tourer, and the latest all-new legendary SL-Class roadster, all launched this year.

Maier has also developed Mercedes-Benz's domestic sales network to more than 220 dealerships in nearly 100 Chinese cities, and the carmaker is driving into the country's western region as well as third and fourth-tier cities of high growth potential.

Maier also acknowledged his personal affinity with China, and his close ties with the country have inspired his involvement in many corporate social responsibility programs like the Mercedes-Benz Star Fund.

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