In the latest quarterly performance briefing, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) announced that the brand has maintained its premium segment lead in the local market with a record sales growth of 16% year-on-year in Q3 of 2018. The 10,143 vehicles sold puts Mercedes-Benz’s share of the Malaysia market at approximately 2.5%.
One of the key factors to this record performance is the consumption tax holiday (GST) enjoyed by Malaysians between June and September 2018. This happened in tandem with various activities and initiatives by MBM to extend its brand presence and image.
“In the third quarter of 2018, we enjoyed bringing a host of updates to excite our fans and customers in the premium market segment. These continue to make up a tailored luxury lifestyle brand experience that is unique to Mercedes-Benz. Keeping our fans and customers in mind at all times, we are happy to continue raising the benchmark of our customer journey through MBM’s extensive network, electrifying product portfolio and unrivalled customer service,” commented Dr Claus Weidner, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia President and CEO.
Its continuation of the brand ownership experience in Q3 includes the opening of an Autohaus and service centre in the east coast (Asbenz Stern in Kuantan) making it 34 Autohauses in total, the establishment of the AMG Owners Club Malaysia, as well as various customer touchpoints such as the Urban Hunting and Hungry For Adventure activities.
Internally, the company hosted the Mercedes-Benz SEA II Skills Competition 2018 to drive and elevate its sales and technical staff competency and uphold the brand’s ‘Best Customer Experience’ promise. 2018 also marks the 10th anniversary of this skills competition and this is the first year the competition has gone regional, with markets under the purview of Southeast Asia II competing.
Concurrent with the rise in sales numbers is MBM’s vehicle servicing volume which also increased by 16% year-on-year to 109,927 from 31 service centres, and setting a throughput benchmark for Southeast Asia in the customer service satisfaction index. “Being in the automotive business for so long, we have grown into masters of our craft. With the legacy of our experience, we also recognise the importance of life long learning. Upholding our promise of service excellence, Mercedes-Benz continues to invest in talent development and enhanced experiences for our customers throughout their journey with the brand,” said Heinrich Schromm, Vice President of Customer Services.
Of the 10,143 vehicles sold in 3Q2018, 6,344 were from the range of locally produced limousines i.e. C-, E-, and S-Class (21% growth over previous year). It’s compact A-, B-, GLA- and CLA-Class recorded sales of 1,268 units (4% y-o-y growth). Meanwhile, MBM sold 1,960 SUVs and 570 ‘Dream Cars’. These figures are unaudited and subject to change.
“The customer experience has never been more exciting in the past quarter. We are pleased to bring a diverse lifestyle experience to our customers with the launch of the Dream Cars Collection for 2018, introduction of the all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class limousines. We are also thrilled that 10,143 customers have chosen a product with a star, a 16 per cent jump over the same period last year, on track for yet another record year in 2018,” said Mark Raine, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
To support vehicle sales, Mercedes-Benz Services Malaysia (MBSM), the financing arm of MBM, continues its growth path. In Q3, it recorded new financing contracts worth RM932 million; it holds a service portfolio of RM2.5 billion, financing 40% of Mercedes-Benz cars sold in Malaysia.
MBSM has implemented an automated underwriting process for loan applications to be processed within seconds, upon receipt of all relevant documents. Within a month of its implementation, MBSM had processed 15% of applications with this system.
MBSM also recently issued a RM3 billion corporate bond in Malaysia, with a AAA credit rating by RAM (Rating Agency of Malaysia). Its first tranche of RM250 million had been taken up by local investors.
“Mercedes-Benz Malaysia was established more than 15 years ago. With RM1.8 billion invested to-date, our key focus has been and remains taking a holistic approach to automotive excellence and customer experiences with a customer-centric strategy,” said Dr Weidner.