Mercedes-Benz eyes spot atop global luxury market by decade's end Global automaker Daimler hopes to fend off growing competition from luxury brands like BMW and Audi as it works to improve its Mercedes-Benz brand's market share.

The Associated Press reports that Daimler chief executive Diter Zetsche has aggressively undertaken a plan to place the company's luxury automaker division over worldwide rivals. BMW has ratcheted up its production as it works toward the same goal, but Mercedes-Benz has some comparative advantages over rivals, Zetsche argues.

Daimler hopes Mercedes will emerge as the world's strongest global luxury brand by the end of this decade, Zetsche said this week at the Frankfurt Auto Show, an annual event where carmakers unveil their latest and most innovative future design platforms.

Like all automakers, Daimler has had to overhaul its strategic sourcing in the wake of China's tight inventory controls over rare earth metals, critical to the production of new vehicles. However, improved purchasing services have helped the company to secure additional supplies of the critical metals, allowing for manufacturing capacity to continue to climb over the past few years.

Zetsche said he expects a majority of Mercedes' growth will occur in emerging economies like Brazil, China and India, where experts assert luxury vehicle demand will surge by 2020. However, the company's volumes in Europe will improve, he forecast, as buyers scoop up the vaunted automaker's new compact range models.

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