Mercedes-Benz remains the top premium brand in Malaysia as 2017 became the fourth consecutive record year for Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM). Sales in 2017 ahieved an all-time high of 12,045 vehicles, which is approximately a 2.3% share (as of November 2017) of the total market.
For the 2017 fiscal year, MBM’s sales was driven by the locally produced limousines with 7,041 units sold. This was followed by the SUVs with 2,599 units, spurred by the introduction of the locally produced Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 and GLC 250; growth within this segment is expected to continue. The compact cars range recorded a total of 2,031 units sold, while the aspirational Mercedes-Benz Dream Cars, also known as the brand shapers, recorded a total of 374 units sold.
“Mercedes-Benz Malaysia enjoyed a remarkable year in 2017 as a result of our customer-centric strategy. We’re very proud of our achievements in 2017. It is the result of great teamwork from everyone in the Mercedes-Benz Malaysia team including our dealer partners. We understand our customers’ requirements and target to fulfil their expectations. To deliver the Best Products, we launched 17 new models. To offer the Best Customer Experience, we launched nine new and upgraded dealerships, including a brand new dealer group, Auto Commerz Sdn Bhd. As a result, we successfully achieved a record-breaking year, our best ever performance in the history of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia. Moving into 2018, we are confident of the growth potential in the Malaysian automotive market and will continue to invest substantially in developing key areas including talent, technology, production and service.
“This is the strategy behind maintaining our position as the No. 1 premium brand in Malaysia,” said Mercedes-Benz Malaysia President and CEO, Dr Claus Weidner.
“We are delighted to have delivered a record-breaking 12,045 Mercedes-Benz Cars to customers in Malaysia and by this confirming our position as the leading premium brand. Our locally produced vehicles, especially the new E-Class and the GLC have been our growth drivers. We are thankful that our customers have put their confidence in our premium products. With our innovative mobility solutions, digitalisation initiatives as well as upcoming product highlights, we are confident of continuing on this success path,” said Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, Sales & Marketing, Vice President, Mark Raine.
It wasn’t just the 17 product launches which kept the brand exciting, including the 6 43 series models (E 43 4MATIC, SLC 43, C 43 4MATIC, C 43 4MATIC Coupe, GLC 43 4MATIC, GLC 43 4MATIC Coupe), or the AMG GT R (all to celebrate 50 years with AMG), but the brand’s continued focus on customer engagement, customer touch points, dealer networt, innovative financial services and continued investment in its assembly and training facilities.
In 2017, customers were treated to various activities including Ultra Singapore 2017, Urban Hunting movement, and Hungry for Adventure in East Malaysia. Additionally, MBM also launched a Mercedes-Benz branded charging station in Bangsar Shopping Centre (BSC) as well as hosted the Mike Horn X Hungry for Adventure event, featuring the greatest explorer of all time who is currently on a two-year Pole2Pole journey.
MBM also enhanced its mobile roadshows, the Mercedes-Benz Gallery, Customer Care Centre, and Test Drive Booking System, including the introduction of Virtual Reality for a more engaging experience, Digital Signage, Product Experts, Online Service Booking, Mercedes-Benz Financial Calculator and a one-stop integrated state-of-the-art web platform, OneWeb, which facilitates the needs of both new and existing customers.
At its dealers, MBM introduced SalesTouch, a mobile sales tool which enables product experts and sales consultants to provide customers with real time information. The feature complements its existing features which are the Service Differentiation and Product Experts.
MBM’s dealer network excelled in servicing a high volume of vehicles while simultaneously maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction, achieving the highest Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) After-sales score in history. In 2017, the Mercedes-Benz service network was recognised as the global benchmark for body and paint facilities, processes and the implementation of Service Differentiation – My Service.
MBM currently has 33 dedicated dealerships nationwide, the largest premium brand dealer network in the country to-date. In September 2017, MBM announced its newest dealer partner, Auto Commerz Sdn Bhd, which is part of the Swire Group, a highly diversified global business group which has been in operation for over 200 years. MBM and Auto Commerz has allocated investments totalling more than RM10 million over the next two years for the expansion and development of Mercedes-Benz Auto Commerz Autohaus. The partnership introduces healthy competition and gives Mercedes-Benz customers greater options.
On the finance side, its sister company, Mercedes-Benz Services Malaysia (MBSM) marked its fifth annivesary in 2017. Its portfolio continues to grow, with plans like AgilityPlus and Lease2Go, financing four of every ten Mercedes-Benz sold. It now holds a portfolio worth RM2.2 billion (unaudited). For 2018, it has started a campaign in conjunction with Chinese New Year, offering personalised and flexible financing packages based on the the buyers’ respective financing commitments.
In 2017, Mercedes-Benz achieved a total investment of over RM1 billion in the Malaysian market. One-third of this investment was made in its Pekan Production Plant and MBM Training Academy in Puchong, Selangor, as its commitment in supporting the nation’s goal of becoming an EEV hub.
The Pekan production plant produced 9,286 vehicles in 2017. It currently produces twelve locally assembled models, the newest addition being the Mercedes-Benz GLC 200. All twelve models are classified as Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEVs), three of which are hybrid vehicles (S 400 h, C 350 e and E 350 e).
MBM’s latest addition at the Pekan Production Plant is its paint shop that has a production capacity of 10,000 units per year, is 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.
At the MBM Training Academy, an additional 27 apprentices were certified in June 2017. Going the extra mile, MBM also conducted the High Voltage Vehicle Introduction Training for Bomba personnel and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) aimed at fostering closer working ties between both organisations.
“We did great in 2017, and we are just getting started. We are confident of doing even better in 2018. Our commitment remains focused on providing our customers with the Best Products and Best Customer Experience. Powering ahead as a leader in the premium segment, we are very excited about 2018 as we have a few surprises in store that will excite our customers and the automotive industry as a whole. To give you a hint, one of these exciting updates will be in relation to our superior electric mobility technology in the form of the Mercedes-Benz EQ brand,” concluded Dr Weidner.
Earlier this week, Daimler AG announced that on a global level Mercedes-Benz sold approximately 2.3 million cars worldwide in 2017, up by 9.9%, and setting a new all-time record. Asia-Pacific was identified as the region with the strongest growth in 2017, delivering 875,250 (+19.2%) Mercedes-Benz cars to customers in 2017, more than ever before in a single year.