Dieter zetsche, CEO of Daimler, speaks to the media to announces financial results for the company for 2013 on February 6, 2013 in Stuttgart, Germany. Daimler's Mercedes-Benz unit raised sales in 2013 to reclaim ground lost to rival BMW in recent years.Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images
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The maker of Mercedes Benz is trying to power through Europe's financial woes. Flat profits for 2012 were followed by a disastrous first quarter when the German luxury automaker posted a 60% drop in net income and lowered its 2013 forecast. Chief Dieter Zetsche expects results to improve later this year as a massive cost-cutting effort lifts Daimler's bottom line. A revamped flagship Mercedes S-Class hits U.S. showrooms this fall, but it faces stiff competition from market leader BMW and a newly revived Audi.

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