Mercedes-Benz B-Class
The all-new Mercedes-Benz B-Class won instant acclaim after its launch at Chengdu Motor Show. Photos provided to China Daily
Although the world’s largest vehicle market has stagnated this year, German premium vehicle brand Mercedes-Benz is plunging more efforts for a sustainable growth with long-term perspective to China market.

"With our deep and long-term commitment to China, it is one of our main duties to make sure that Mercedes-Benz grows in a healthy and sustainable way in our future largest market, with no compromise to service & network quality, pricing stability, and so on," said Klaus Maier, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz (China) Ltd. "And we will always push forward in all aspects to achieve the goal of sustainable development."

Though the market slow down made the first half of the year tough for automakers after a two-year boom, "I strongly believe that the local economy and domestic automobile market will continue to grow over the next years,"said Bjoern Hau ber, executive vice-president of Sales and Marketing at Mer cedes-Benz (China) Ltd.

"2012 is not a finish line. We are ready at the new starting point for the long run," Hauber added.

In the first seven months, the carmaker delivered nearly 120,000 Mercedes-Benz, AMG and smart vehicles to Chinese customers, a 10 percent year-on-year increase.

"A strong and comprehen sive product portfolio is the key driving force for Mercedes-Benz’s sustainable develop ment," said Maier. "We prom ise to always bring the newest products and best technologies to Chinese customers at the earliest time possible."

Three new models – the all new B-Class Luxury Sports Tourer, all-new ML 300 4MATIC, and R 350 BlueEFFICIENCY – were launched at the Chengdu motor show last week.

In addition to these, Hauber told China Daily that Mercedes will bring five more new models to its luxury lineup throughout the course of the year.

"We believe these exciting models will drive Mercedes-Benz to bigger success in Chi na," said Hauber. "Our sales performance in China will be strong in the next months."

An advocate for the Chi nese government’s appeal for green mobility, Mercedes has been working to make its cars even more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly with BlueEFFICIENCY technology first introduced to the local market in 2009.

Only three years later, Mercedes has set a target to have more than 70 percent of its entire lineup in China equipped with BlueEFFICIEN CY measures by the end of this year, covering all segments including sedans, SUV, and even niche models. "That’s how our active product strategy works," concluded Hauber.

Mercedes is also boosting its dealer network to more than 250 outlets across the country by the end of the year. It is speeding up the sales network extension from previous plan of adding 20 to 25 dealers a year to opening 40 to 50 new dealers annually.

On the first day of the motor show, Mercedes also opened its fourth regional office in China, head quartered in Chengdu, to cover West China. It has other regional offices in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, covered north, east and south China areas respectively.

"This new regional office enables us to have even closer contact to our valued custom ers and partners in the western region.It’s a strategic step for our dealership network expansion as well as our sustainable development," said Hauber.

"Within the next three years we will continue to grow into many more cities to meet the demands of our customers, especially focusing on third- and fourth-tier cities which represent higher growth potential," said Maier.

"About 45 percent of all new dealerships will be opened in cities of similar size to Yibin in Sichuan province, Chifeng in Inner Mongolia and Sanya in Hainan province."

The detailed plan calls for Mercedes to have outlets in more than 170 cities in China by 2015.

"Much more important than the increase in dealer numbers, we are investing more effort to prepare our local talent to guarantee top quality in our dealerships, for the benefits of our valued customers," said Maier.

With five training centers established around China, Mercedes will offer nearly 100,000 training days this year, an increase of 32 percent over 2011.

"In the upcoming years we will further invest another 150 million yuan in training courses and facilities for our staff," added Maier.

Deep rooted in its third-largest market which is growing to higher position, Mercedes has long ago realized that it has to contribute itself to the local society for a sustainable development.

For the wellbeing of China’s future generations, the German luxury brand recently injected another 25 million yuan to its Mercedes-Benz Star Fund which established in 2010, increasing the total investment up to 55 million yuan to continue its support for the social development in China.

This year Mercedes also introduced its Mobilekids road safety program to China, providing classes for more than 70,000 students from over 200 schools across the country.

"Whether it’s our investment on children or our efforts to promote eco-friendly prod ucts, or any other strategic moves that support our business, we always strive toward one common goal – to sustain Mercedes-Benz’s healthy and steady long-term development in this promising market," said Maier.
SOURCE: China Daily


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