Mercedes-Benz chief executive Ola Kallenius says China is far too important for the automotive industry for the country to be shunned.
While speaking at the ESMT business school in Berlin, Germany earlier this week, Kallenius said he was deeply convinced of the benefits of globalization and that it would be “absolutely inconceivable” to write off the country.
Kallenius made these comments shortly after German chancellor Olaf Scholz headed a delegation of business leaders to China. Scholz warned German businesses to diversify should the country’s relationship with China sour after President Xi Jinping extended his term as leader.
Read: Nearly 1 In Every 2 Mercedes-Benz Sold In Q2 2022 Went To China
“To back away from China because something might happen would be the wrong direction,” Kallenius said, according to Automotive News Europe.
It comes as no surprise that the boss of Mercedes-Benz understands and appreciates the importance of the Chinese market to the German automaker. As a matter of fact, third-quarter sales results revealed that of the 520,100 vehicles delivered by Mercedes-Benz in Q3 2022, some 206,800 were sold in China.
China has become such a big market for Mercedes-Benz that it easily outsold Europe during Q3 where 152,700 vehicles were delivered and North America where 83,200 units were sold. Sales in China jumped 37 per cent in Q3 from the 150,600 units sold during the same quarter last year but interestingly, Chinese sales were down 5 per cent from the first nine months of 2021 to 562,600 units.
Sales of Mercedes-Benz models in China have been strong for quite some time, so much so that it sold 774,000 vehicles in the nation in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.