By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN
Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Sdn Bhd (MBM) achieved a record performance with a total of 13,079 cars delivered last year, lifting the company’s share in the country’s auto market to 2.4%.
President and CEO Dr Claus Weidner said the German carmaker’s vehicle sales increased by 9%, or 1,034 units, in 2018 from 12,045 units recorded in the previous year.
“Our efforts to invigorate the brand experience for our increasingly diverse fans have been fruitful and we are happy to retain our position as the No 1 premium brand in Malaysia,” he said at the company’s performance briefing for 2018 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
MBM is leading the local premium segment ahead of competitors such as BMW Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Volvo Cars Malaysia Sdn Bhd which sold 10,618 and 1,021 units respectively in 2017.
The performance was also supported by the surge in sales during the three-month tax holiday last year in transition to the implementation of the Sales and Services Tax.
Limousine segment drove the volume with 7,910 units, mainly contributed by its best-selling locally-produced cars — the C-Class.
The SUVs delivered 2,613 units, while the compact car segment sold 1,875 units, a drop by 7.7% year-on-year.
Sales and Marketing VP for passenger cars Mark Raine attributed the decline to the transition by consumers to a new range of compact cars including the new A-Class.
Dream car segment sold 662 units and the remaining were contributed by the B-Class.
Raine said the local automotive market is expected to be challenging this year and there could be a pull forward effect from the tax-free period last year.
Total industry volume is expected to grow between 1% and 2% to some 600,000 units this year mainly driven by new launches, analysts predicted.