Mercedes has recovered from Volkswagen's emissions-cheating scandal

DETROIT : Mercedes-Benz has recovered from an initial hit to sales of its diesel vehicles due to the Volkswagen emissions-cheating scandal, Chairman Daimler Dieter Zetsche said on Sunday.

Daimler Dieter Zetsche said “For some time the entire industry was affected” by the VW scandal, but there’s clear differentiation and we feel the full confidence with our customer base and our stakeholders again.

Soon after the Volkswagen scandal broke, Zetsche realized he needed to explain to stakeholders what we do and what we don’t do and on that basis today, there is no difference anymore in the trust people have in our brand versus before the scandal.

Zetsche’s comments came less than a week after Mercedes reported record annual US sales for 2015, a sharp contrast with fellow German rival VW.

VW has been on the hot seat since US regulators in September charged that it installed software to intentionally subvert clean-air regulations, resulting in excess harmful emissions. VW has since acknowledged that the software was installed on some 11 million cars worldwide. Chief executive Volkswagen Matthias Mueller, in his first visit to the US since the scandal broke, apologized on Sunday night at another event on the sidelines of the auto show.

The mood was much more upbeat at the lavish Mercedes party which launched the company’s new luxury E-Class sedan, emphasizing the new line’s intelligent capacities, such as automatically changing lines. Before the car was unveiled, Zetsche took a not-so-subtle dig at his German rival. Without mentioning VW, Zetsche thanked Santa Claus after he left a lot of candy in our stockings  unlike some Germany car makers.

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