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Daimler CEO says building new U.S. factory 'an option'

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[January 13, 2014]  DETROIT (Reuters)  Daimler <DAIGn.DE> Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said the Germany-based auto maker may build another factory in North America as a way to ramp up global production capacity.

"We are starting work on our next generation of compact cars, and as part of that discussion there is a discussion about additional plant capacity," Zetsche said on the sidelines of a Mercedes-Benz evening event in Detroit.

"An additional plant in North America is one scenario," Zetsche said. No decisions about such a move had been taken, he added.

Zetsche said the capacity constraints were a "luxury problem" as they were a symptom of strong car sales.

"There is a shortage in every market," he said, adding that demand for vehicles such as the new S-Class was brisk.

Mercedes produces about two thirds of its cars in Germany but 80 percent of its sales come from outside the country.

Further expanding production capacity for compact cars at its factory in Tuscaloosa was not a likely scenario, Zetsche further said.

(Reporting by Edward Taylor; editing by Stephen Coates)

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