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FRANKFURT, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Daimler AG is raising its performance bar by weeding out weaker rivals from a peer group it used to benchmark its profitability and senior managers' pay, the carmaker's annual report, published on Friday, showed.
Under new rules for measuring Daimler's performance in 2014, Renault SA and Fiat SpA would drop out because their credit rating is below investment grade, and Volvo Cars would be excluded because it is unlisted, it said.
In 2012 and 2013, Daimler set pay for management board members in part by benchmarking the group's return on sales with that of BMW AG and Volkswagen AG, Fiat, Honda Motor Co, Volvo Car Group, Renault and Toyota Motor Corp.
In 2014, the group would include "all stock-exchange-listed vehicle manufacturers with an automotive proportion of more than 70 percent and an investment grade rating" and would use the competitors' average return on sales calculated over a period of three years to measure performance, the report said.
That would prevent Daimler from comparing itself to General Motors Co or Peugeot because they do not have an investment-grade rating.
Instead the maker of Mercedes-Benz limousines might add Hyundai Motor Co and Ford Motor Co.