2017 was the fourth consecutive record year for Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM). Achieving an all-time high sales record of 12,045 vehicles sold in 2017, which translates into an overall 2.3 per cent growth compared to 2016. The three-pointed star is well ahead of the pack in the premium segment, maintaining a 2.3 per cent market share*.
For FY2017, MBM’s sales was driven by the locally produced limousines which recorded 7,041 units sold. This was followed closely by the Mercedes-Benz SUVs with 2,599 units sold, spurred by the introduction of the locally produced Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 and GLC 250. Growth within this segment is expected to continue. The Mercedes-Benz compact cars recorded a total of 2,031 units sold, while the aspirational Mercedes-Benz Dream Cars, also known as the brand shapers, recorded a total of 374 units sold.
The exceptional demand for Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Malaysia was achievable through the 17 product launches that excited fans throughout 2017. One of the key highlights during the year included celebrating 50 years with AMG. The milestone celebrated the supreme automotive performance, exclusivity, efficiency and highly dynamic driving pleasure of the AMG series. MBM marked the celebration by launching six new 43 series models namely, the Mercedes-Benz E 43 4MATIC, SLC 43, C 43 4MATIC, C 43 4MATIC Coupe, GLC 43 4MATIC, GLC 43 4MATIC Coupe and later, the AMG GT R.
Complementing its line-up of Best Products, MBM invested in initiatives that demonstrated its signature Best Customer Experience by organising various customer engagement activities focusing on the different interests of its target audience. These included the Ultra Singapore 2017, Urban Hunting movement, and Hungry for Adventure in East Malaysia. In addition, MBM also launched a Mercedes-Benz branded charging station in Bangsar Shopping Centre (BSC) and hosted the Mike Horn X Hungry for Adventure event, featuring the greatest explorer of all time who is currently on a two-year journey – Pole2Pole mission.
Moving even closer to its fans and customers, MBM continued to innovate exciting platforms to enhance customer touch points in 2017. These included mobile roadshows, the Mercedes-Benz Gallery, Customer Care Centre, and Test Drive Booking System. MBM also introduced experiencing cars in Virtual Reality, Digital Signage, Product Experts, Online Service Booking, Mercedes-Benz Financial Calculator and also a one-stop integrated state-of-the-art web platform which facilitates the needs of both new and existing customers known as OneWeb.
With regards to its dealer network, MBM introduced SalesTouch, a mobile sales tool which enables product experts and sales consultants to provide customers with real time information. The feature complements its existing features which are the Service Differentiation and Product Experts.
Always in touch with customers’ needs, MBM launched a new campaign in late 2017 in partnership with its sister company, Mercedes-Benz Services Malaysia (MBSM). The campaign, in anticipation for the Chinese New Year celebration in 2018, offers personalised and flexible financing packages to give Mercedes-Benz fans total peace of mind to finance their dream Mercedes-Benz cars based on their respective financing commitments.
Contributing to the significant milestones for the year, MBSM marked its 5th anniversary in 2017. Tracking a significant growth since its establishment in 2012, MBSM continues to provide a seamless experience with peace-of-mind financing and insurance solutions. For FY2017, MBSM financed four out of every 10 Mercedes-Benz vehicles sold and has a solid servicing portfolio of MYR 2.2 billion**.
With the introduction of new products like AgilityPlus and Lease2Go, MBSM provides a one-stop solution for all customers, further supporting MBM’s Best Customer Experience goal.
Attentive to every element throughout the customer journey, MBM’s dealer network excelled in servicing a high volume of vehicles while simultaneously maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction, achieving the highest Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) After-sales score in history. In 2017, the Mercedes-Benz service network was recognised as the global benchmark for body and paint facilities, processes and the implementation of Service Differentiation – My Service.
Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has 33 dedicated dealerships nationwide delivering the Best Products and Best Customer Service throughout the entire customer journey. To date, Mercedes-Benz has the largest premium dealer network in the country. In September 2017, MBM announced its newest dealer partner, Auto Commerz Sdn Bhd, which is part of the Swire Group, a highly diversified global business group which has been in operation for over 200 years. MBM together with Auto Commerz has allocated investments totalling more than MYR 10 million over the next two years for the expansion and development of Mercedes-Benz Auto Commerz Autohaus. The partnership introduces healthy competition and gives Mercedes-Benz customers greater options.
In FY2017, Mercedes-Benz achieved a total investment of over MYR 1 billion in the Malaysian market. One-third of this investment was made in its Pekan Production Plant and MBM Training Academy in Puchong, Selangor. This strategy demonstrates the leading premium German marque’s commitment in supporting the nation’s ambition of becoming an EEV hub.
Supporting the growing demand for Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Malaysia, the MBM production plant in Pekan, Pahang continues to be a clear demonstration of MBM’s commitment to the Malaysian economy. In FY2017, the production plant produced 9,286 vehicles. It currently produces 12 locally assembled models, the newest addition being the Mercedes-Benz GLC 200. All 12 locally assembled models are classified as Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEVs), three of which are hybrid vehicles namely, the Mercedes-Benz S 400 h, C 350 e and E 350 e.
MBM’s latest addition at the Pekan Production Plant is its paint shop that has a production capacity of 10,000 units per year, is equipped with a state-of-the-art robotic painting system, and is the first to use a 360 degree conveyor system in the ASEAN region.
Passionate about preparing future talent equipped to sustain the national EEV agenda, MBM continues to actively carry out its responsibility in supporting the nations EEV ambitions through the MBM Training Academy. An additional 27 apprentices were certified as at 16 June 2017. Going the extra mile, MBM also conducted the High Voltage Vehicle Introduction Training for Bomba personnel and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) aimed at fostering closer working ties between both organisations.
Taking its commitment of supporting the nation’s EEV agenda to the next level, MBM is moving ahead to create a more conducive environment by launching dedicated charging stations to provide added customer convenience and service. MBM selected Bangsar Shopping Centre as the location for its first station.
“We did great in 2017, and we are just getting started. We are confident of doing even better in 2018. Our commitment remains focused on providing our customers with the Best Products and Best Customer Experience. Powering ahead as a leader in the premium segment, we are very excited about 2018 as we have a few surprises in store that will excite our customers and the automotive industry as a whole. To give you a hint, one of these exciting updates will be in relation to our superior electric mobility technology in the form of the Mercedes-Benz EQ brand,” concluded Dr Weidner.
Earlier in the week, Daimler AG announced that on a global level Mercedes-Benz sold approximately 2.3 million cars worldwide in 2017, increasing its unit sales by 9.9 per cent, and setting a new all-time record.
Asia-Pacific was identified as the region with the strongest growth in 2017, delivering 875,250 (+19.2%) Mercedes-Benz cars to customers in 2017, more than ever before in a single year.