by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by TMR
MERCEDES-BENZ Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s (MBM) digital touchpoints have contributed between 70% and 80% of car sales as customers switch to online platforms to avoid visiting showrooms, while Movement Control Orders are in place.
Sales and marketing passenger cars VP Michael Jopp said the carmaker strives to provide a seamless online-to-offline and offline-to-online experience to customers, but physical interaction remains important.
“When the customer journey starts, either within the dealer showroom, online on the virtual showroom or exhibitions, we want to create a seamless experience between online-to-offline and offline-to-online.
“Ultimately, transactions will always be concluded with the dealers in more or less physical interaction, and we expect this will remain for quite some time,” Jopp said in a virtual media roundtable yesterday.
MBM recently reinforced its local digital footprint with the launch of its e-commerce platform, a virtual showroom that allows customers to browse cars online, available for both new and Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned cars.
Customers can use the feature to search for stock availability, calculate financing options and directly request a quote from their preferred dealer.
MBM president and CEO Claus Weidner said the company is constantly evaluating its showroom network structure for optimisation and consolidation based on the needs in the areas.
“We look at our network organisation permanently and optimise it to the demand in the respective areas either to have an outlet on the sale or service side.
“It’s a living project that changes permanently, which, on one side, we create new opportunities but on the other, we look at optimisation and consolidation of the network structure,” Weidner said.
Despite major challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Mercedes-Benz has delivered more than two million cars globally for the fifth consecutive year in 2020 through advanced digitisation in sales and service.
This year, Jopp said the company will be launching more SUVs and compact cars into the Malaysian market in tandem with the growing demand.
He said compact cars would be an attractive entry for customers into the world of Mercedes-Benz.
The company further aimed at expanding its locally produced cars footprint with plans to localise additional models in the SUV and compact car segments this year.
Weidner said the company is also looking to introduce electric cars to the local market when the time is right, according to the demand and economic feasibility.
He said MBM is hopeful to see more details on the National Automotive Policy 2020 to decide the next steps forward for plug-in hybrids and electric cars