Daimler may cut 2013 outlook on weak European demand

CEO sees ‘no signs of trend reversal’ in core European market


German premium carmaker Daimler said it might cut its 2013 profit expectations this month, sparking sharp criticism from shareholders gathering for yesterday’s annual meeting, as Europe’s car market shrank at an alarming rate.

Daimler has fallen far behind German rivals BMW and Audi due to deep-seated problems in China, and the latest profit warning is another dent in the credibility of chief executive Dieter Zetsche, who said Daimler would reassess previous assumptions for 2013 when it reports first-quarter results on April 24th. Investors hauled Zetsche over the coals for presiding over a dismal stock price development since he took over as chief executive in January 2006. Since then Daimler stock is broadly flat at about €40, while Volkswagen has tripled in value and BMW stock is up 80 per cent. – ( Bloomberg )