By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Sdn Bhd (MBM) sold 10,143 cars in the first nine months of this year, 1,372 units more compared to the same period in 2017, as the premium carmaker expects to register another record-performing year.
The local unit of the German carmaker saw delivery jumping 16% in the January-September period compared to 8,771 units a year ago.
MBM sales and marketing passenger cars VP Mark Raine said besides the tax holiday period that boosted sales in July and August, new product launches and customer-centric services have helped the carmaker to register a record year-to-date performance.
“The Goods and Services Tax-free (period) accelerated our sales in July and August. We also continue to provide the best products and services to customers with a diverse lifestyle experience,” Raine said at the third-quarter (3Q18) results announcement in Petaling Jaya yesterday.
The German luxury carmaker leads in the premium segment. In the overall Malaysian vehicle market, it has a 2.5% market share.
The firm said the limousines sub-segment, comprising C-, E- and S-Class vehicles, contributed 6,344 units to the overall delivery, recording a 21% growth compared to the previous year.
Compact cars, which include the A-, B-, GLA- and CLA-Class, rose 4% year-on-year to 1,268 cars in 3Q18.
The SUVs remained strong with more than 1,900 units delivered, while sales for the Mercedes dream cars jumped 40% to 570 units.
Raine said the surge in the dream cars sub-segment was driven by performance cars, including the locally-produced AMG C43 Sedan and GLC43 SUV that were launched this year.
For 4Q18, he said the company is confident of achieving another record year despite the expected slowdown in the sector and as the market adjusts to the new Sales and Services Tax (SST).
RHB Research Institute Sdn Bhd head of Malaysia research Alexander Chia previously told The Malaysian Reserve that sales of vehicles are expected to decline towards year-end, as the market naturalises to the reintroduction of SST.
Raine said MBM is confident to be able to drive sales with six new cars expected to be launched in 4Q18. The six launches include two new AMGs, three new performance cars and one more dream car.
MBM previewed to the media its new AMG E53 and AMG E53 Coupe, part of the six new cars, at the briefing yesterday.
MBM also recently upped its game in the used-car segment with the launch of a new pre-owned centre in Puchong, Selangor.
The RM41.6 million facility, operated by Hap Seng Star Sdn Bhd, is MBM’s largest pre-owned centre in Malaysia. It is able to house more than 100 cars at any one time.
MBM sold about 5,000 used cars last year and half of that, or some 2,500 units, were Mercedes-certified.