Mercedes-AMG GT C Edition 50 is unveiled during the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, January 9, 2017. / AFP / JIM WATSON
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Mercedes-Benz is expected to reach its goal of becoming the largest premium carmaker four years early – a feat achieved, ironically, only after it stopped chasing market share and focused on making stylish high-tech cars loved by consumers.Less than four years ago Zetsche faced restive shareholders, worried that the automaker was lagging behind rivals BMW and Volkswagen AG's Audi brand.Daimler said Sunday it had sold 2.08 million Mercedes-Benz branded passenger cars in 2016, a lead that BMW, which has held the premium sales crown since 2005 and is due to release annual sales figures on Monday, is not expected to beat.Zetsche set the goal of making Mercedes the best-selling luxury carmaker by 2020 at the company's 125th anniversary in 2011, a year when even Audi sales overtook those of Mercedes, pushing it into third place.Audi was gaining traction with customers thanks to cool designs, so Zetsche appointed a young designer, Gorden Wagener to head up Mercedes design.
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