Mercedes Benz has a very long history of cars manufacturing, being a part of Daimler-Benz company and later belonging to Daimler-Chrysler. Perhaps, Mercedes-Benz is the most well-known automotive brand worldwide. Its rich history and known top-level quality have earned a reputation of luxury cars manufacturer for the company. Mercedes Benz automobiles being prized for prestige and quality often become the choice of the rich and famous. Throughout the history, the goal of Mercedes Benz was providing its customers with more than just cars. Owning a Mercedes Benz was a symbol of belonging to community valuing quality above all.
The focus of Mercedes-Benz vehicles is set on high quality and state of the art engineering. Of course it makes them expensive; thus they are made in lower volumes compared to cheaper cars. The company has carefully cultivated an image of superior engineering, quality, and service. Mercedes-Benz is clear leader in the luxury and upper range segment of the market. Recent efforts of the company to move towards lower segments were rather successful: its Smart brand has become a market leader in microcar segment in several European countries.
Hence the famous luxury cars manufacturer now tries to make its products popular among low-priced cars to achieve global dominance. The mission statement of Daimler-Chrysler, which Mercedes Benz is currently a part of, indicates efforts towards fulfilling customers' desire for mobile independence (Daimler-Chrysler 2005). Mercedes-Benz is proud of his long 120 years history of car manufacturing, putting its experience and commitment to use in making quality cars. Nevertheless, quality is not the only pillar the company stands upon.
The corporate strategy of Mercedes Benz is based on four cornerstones: global presence, strong brands, broad product range, and technology leadership. Invention and innovation put to good use at Mercedes Benz allows a company to set up a high quality standard. Broad product range reflects the company's direction towards dominance rather than being a niche player in luxury cars segment. Its strong brand is often seen as its greatest competitive advantage providing Mercedes Benz cars with a spirit of precision and comfort. Finally, steps taken in the establishment of global presence allow Mercedes Benz to enter new national markets.
The great Daimler-Chrysler merger made in 1998 can be seen as an example of establishing global presence of Daimler-Benz. Although the deal was supposed to be a merger of equals, Daimler-Benz quickly took the wheel of the new formed company. "When the dust settled, Daimler was firmly in control of Chrysler, and the shock waves were reverberating on both sides of the Atlantic. An American icon would lose its independence, and a German giant would grow in power and influence." (Stertz and Vlasic, 2000) Another example of expansion is purchasing of Mitsubishi departments serving two purposes: 1) getting closer to a perspective Asian market and 2) using the expertise of Asian car manufacturers in producing small cars.
Nevertheless, the sky is not clear for Mercedes Benz. Its recent trends of moving into lower market segments has not gone unnoticed for its luxury cars. "In recent years the brand's reputation once sterling reliability record has been called into question when it was recently ranked rather low in consumer surveys." (Wikipedia 2006) Thus Mercedes-Benz is now