MBM continues to lead in premium car segment

The company is planning more than 5 launches in 2H18, according to its VP

by KEVIN WONG  / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Sdn Bhd (MBM) is optimistic that it will maintain its lead in the premium car segment this year after a stunning six-month performance to deliver more cars to customers.

The German carmaker sold 6,790 vehicles in the first six months of 2018 (1H18), a 15% increase compared to the same period last year with a total market share of 2.5%, a 0.2% improvement from 1H17.

In 2017, MBM sold a record number of 12,045 units, a 2.3% increase from the 2016 total of 11,779 units.

“We are confident we are on a good track, but the main indicator is that our customers are satisfied with our service and we are gaining market share,” MBM VP of sales and marketing passenger cars Mark Raine (picture) said after MBM’s Mid-Year Media Briefing 2018 recently.

The company said the Mercedes C-, E- and S-Class recorded a total of 4,322 units sold, 18% higher for the January-June 2018 period than 1H17.

Additionally, its range of premium compact cars which comprise the Mercedes A-Class, B-Class, GLA-Class and CLA-Class recorded a total of 996 units sold, 20% higher sales than last year.

Moreover, its premium SUV range had remained as a growth driver which recorded 1,291 units sold, while the Mercedes Dream Cars collection recorded a notable achievement with 181 units sold.

The company is also gearing up for 2H18 to maintain its lead position by planning more than five launches, Raine said.

MBM president and CEO Dr Claus Weidner said with the group’s determination to improve customer services along the ownership journey, growing its locally-assembled portfolio, innovative customer touch-points and lifestyle experiences, have formed a holistic endeavour to achieve the higher customer satisfaction.

“Our market leadership is not the ultimate goal, but rather the credible result of this focus and fulfillment of our premium luxury claim.

“Care for the customers is of utmost importance, falling in line with our efforts to deliver nothing but the best customer experience,” he said.

Meanwhile, its automotive financing arm Mercedes-Benz Services Malaysia Sdn Bhd (MBSM) had issued a RM3 billion corporate bond programme recently to diversify its funding sources in anticipation of further growth prospects in the market.

MBSM MD Mike J Ponnaz said the first issuance of RM25 million of the bond programme in June has been taken up by local investors.

“We do expect to use the RM3 billion within the next few years. As for the moment, the bond programme is a first for the group,” he said.

In conjunction with its midyear media briefing, MBM also unveiled the Mercedes E300 AMG Line where it will be replacing the E350 e plug-in hybrid.

The E300 complements the existing line-up of the E200 Avantgarde, E250 Avantgarde and E250 Exclusive.