From Businessweek.com, an interview with Dieter Zetsche:
The interview basically focussed on Mercedes getting back to the top in quality surveys in 2 years time, and re-focussing it's model lineup. Major highlights are:
1) Zetsche opted to run the brand (Mercedes) himself and says he is pushing the organization to run faster when it comes to quality. Mercedes can only be in one spot when it comes to quality, and that is number one, says Zetsche who says he plans to match or beat luxury leader Lexus in Power's influential Initial Quality Study ranking in just two years. The Power IQS Study was just overhauled so that things gone wrong are measured separately from design quality, or how well a car is designed and packaged. Mercedes, which has suffered quality setbacks in recent years, where it came in tenth behind Lexus in 2004, bounced back to third place last year. But the complexity of Mercedes in-cabin electronics, under the new study formula, set the venerable brand plummeting back to 26th in the 2006 ranking released earlier this month.
2) Besides driving the organization on quality, Zetsche says he is moving to better focus Mercedes-Benz's image and product portfolio. Under Schrempp, the division expanded into entry-level cars like the A-Class in Europe, Smart, and SUVs and crossovers in the U.S. We're going to narrow the portfolio a bit and concentrate on what we are, says Zetsche. He singled out the recently launched R-Class crossover, which looks somewhat like a large station-wagon, as a model that is far afield of where Mercedes is going.
This is an interesting comment from the CEO: "He singled out the recently launched R-Class crossover, which looks somewhat like a large station-wagon, as a model that is far afield of where Mercedes is going". Wonder what this implies for the R's future....