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RPT-Daimler CEO says demand has stabilised from corona lows

(Repeats with no changes to text)

SINDELFINGEN, Germany, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Daimler Chief Executive Ola Kaellenius said global demand for Mercedes-Benz cars has stabilised from a sharp drop in sales triggered by the coronavirus crisis.

“Demand has stabilised. In China we saw a V-shaped recovery. That’s not the case in Europe and North America but we have rebounded from the freefall,” Kaellenius told journalists gathered in Sindelfingen, Germany for the launch of the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

A new flagship Mercedes-Benz will make a “disproportionate contribution” to the company’s profits, at a time when the luxury carmaker is seeking to lower costs and its breakeven point, he said.

“We have a premium positioning when compared to our competitors. It is not a small advantage and we will be able to sustain it,” the Swedish-born CEO said.

Separately, Kaellenius said Daimler’s talks with Ineos about selling its plant in Hambach, France were at a “very advanced stage” but declined to elaborate further pending the ongoing nature of negotiations.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; editing by Thomas Seythal

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