Mercedes-Benz Continues Record-breaking Run for Fourth Year

MERCEDES-BENZ is once again the leading premium brand in Malaysia with a record sales of 12,045 vehicles in 2017, its highest ever in this country. This is the third consecutive year that the marque has sold more than 10,000 cars annually.

The volume sold in 2017 reflected a 2.3-per cent growth over the sales achieved in 2016 while at the same time, giving Mercedes-Benz a market share of 2.3 per cent. This achievement mirrors that of its global accomplishments; almost 2.3 million Mercedes-Benz vebicles were sold worldwide (an increase of 9.9 per cent over the previous year) with the Asia-Pacific (including China) accounting for more 875,000 cars (38 per cent of total sales).

The Asia-Pacific year-to-year increase was 19.2 per cent, helped largely by the huge gain in China of almost 26 per cent over 2016 or almost 590,000 cars sold in 2017 (the largest individual market for this German marque). Mercedes-Benz must be doing something right to achieve this record-braking trend.

Coming back to Malaysia, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) President and CEO Dr Claus Weidner attributed the marque’s remarkable run to the company’s ‘customer centric strategy’, adding that the achievements were the result of ‘great teamwork from everyone in Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’ including its dealer partners.

Supporting achievements include the ‘best-ever’ results by the Aftersales division with 128,072 vehicles serviced and Mercedes-Benz Services Malaysia financing four out of every 10 vehicles that boasts a financial portfolio of RM2.2 billion. Helping the sales numbers was probably the wide selection of Mercedes-Benz models made available to prospective Malaysian premium car buyers, young and old.

MBM launched 17 models in 2017, equalling the number introduced in the previous year. Although that might not be followed through for a third year, a hint of what’s to come in 2018 is certain electrifying. Yup, you guessed it right. A fully electric ‘EQ’ model looks set to make its entry here to initiate a small step towards the future of mobility.

As for MBM’s dealer partners, nine Autohauses were launched in 2017 and more are definitely on the way as the company studies the feasibility of expanding the dealer network to areas with good sales reach and potential.

A breakdown of MBM’s 12,075 sales volume showed that the locally produced range was represented by 7041 units, followed by the SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles) at 2599, the compact cars at 2031 and the ‘aspirational Mercedes-Benz Dream Cars’ (MBM also calls them ‘brand shapers’) recorded an impressive volume of 374 cars. June 2017 was the ‘best-ever’ month with 1210 cars sold.

While the new E-Class and GLC (GLC 200 and 250) were the growth drivers, MBM’s launch of seven AMG models in celebration of 50 years of the sporty badge certainly did wonders for the ‘brand shapers’. These included six 43 series models – E 43 4MATIC, SLC 43, C 43 4MATIC, C 43 4MATIC Coupe, GLC 43 4MATIC and GLC 43 4MATIC Coupe – and the ultimate AMG GT-R.

There were also various customer engagement activities organised to demonstrate its ‘Best Customer Experience’ and as part of the RM1-billion investment MBM has made since 2003, there is the Mercedes-Benz branded charging station in Bangsar Shopping Centre that was launched last year.

One third of that investment was channelled to its Pekan production plant and the MBM Training Academy at its new headquarters in Puchong, Selangor. In the 2017 financial year, the plant produced 9286 vehicles and the latest model to go on line was the GLC 200. All 12 locally assembled models are classified as Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEVs) and three of them are hybrids – S 400 h, C 350 e and E 350 e.

MBM’s latest addition to the Pekan plant is a paint shop that has a production capacity of 10,000 units per year. It is also equipped with a state-of-the-art robotic painting system and is the first to use a 360-degree conveyor system in the Asean region.

With all that said and done, what’s in store for 2018? MBM has announced Datuk Nicol David as its brand ambassador. Mark Raine, Vice President, Sales & Marketing Passenger Cars, MBM has these words: “Our newest brand ambassador Datuk Nicol David is more than just an exceptional athlete; she is an exemplary role model to all Malaysians and a fitting embodiment of values we hold dear at Mercedes-Benz – passion, discipline, integrity and an uncompromising determination to be absolutely the best at her game.”