Mercedes-Benz is enjoying strong demand in China, thanks to its updated automobile lineup, giving it a boost past Audi as the number two luxury automobile manufacturer in the world. Efforts directed at creating new models and redesigning operations in China are resulting in placing the company in line to profit from China’s long-term thirst for luxury automobiles. An increasing upper middle class and increasing incomes in China are counter-balancing its slowing economy and an anti-corruption crusade that have affected the demand for foreign luxury cars.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class, GLA
Deliveries of the Mercedes-Benz GLA compacts and the C-class sedan were up twenty-two percent in the first half of 2016, which put the German automaker on the way to exceeding its yearly sales goal.
Local production of a new Mercedes-Benz C-Class with a long wheelbase late last year has aided in springing Mercedes-Benz from a slowdown in the Chinese automotive industry. A new compact SUV, the GLA model, is also being manufactured in partnership with BAIC Motor. But even with China’s currency devaluation, Daimler predicts that it will affect Mercedes-Benz sales profits only slightly.
Extremely Strong Growth In China
Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) are highly popular in China. In fact, SUV sales were up forty-five percent to make up forty percent of the overall sales of passenger autos in China. Mercedes-Benz has responded to this trend by offering their GLA and GLC SUVs. The SUVs are in addition to the C-Class and E-Class autos.
A string of approximately 500 Mercedes-Benz dealerships across the country and local production capabilities expanded, Mercedes-Benz is poised to take advantage of the Chinese desire for its luxury vehicles. These features also made China the largest single market for Mercedes-Benz in 2015.
China led the world in economic growth for the year 2016, and is currently the world’s largest automobile market. Mercedes-Benz expects this trend to continue indefinitely. China was responsible for almost one-fourth of the carmaker’s world sales for 2016, as well as being a major player in recent previous years. Growing twenty-eight percent in 2016 alone, Mercedes-Benz leads the Chinese luxury automobile market.
Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales Service president and CEO, Nicholas Speeks, says, “Whilst it is unlikely that we will always post such growth rates, we are happy with this performance, especially since this growth was achieved parallel to an improvement in the value perception of our brand.”
The goal of Mercedes-Benz is to strive for a sustainable, profitable, and healthy growth in tandem with its dealers so that its customers will readily recognize brand value. This doesn’t necessarily translate into being Number One in premium car sales, but rather is based on customer satisfaction, product reliability, and brand recognition.
Mercedes-Benz is striving to meet the Chinese trends in terms of assisted driving, connectivity, and other features. The E-Class long wheelbase is being touted as “Made in China, designed for China.” This new model, with its thirteen trim levels, was just one of sixteen product lines that Mercedes-Benz debuted in China last year. In an effort to meet the demands of an ever-increasing
In an effort to meet the demands of an ever-increasing digitalized lifestyle, Mercedes-Benz has now offered such features as WeChat My Car. They are also now offering door-to-door service that includes test driving a Mercedes-Benz. These things are proof of Mercedes-Benz’s efforts to address the needs of the Chinese customer’s digital lifestyle.
Best Customer Experience
In what could be billed as a cross between a car dealership and a mini-mall, the Mercedes-Benz me Sanlitun in Beijing offers the me Café, a restaurant named Sifang Sanchuan, a juice bar called Café Express, and a watering hole called the Lighthaus.
A gift shop stocked with Mercedes-Benz themed products along with the usual new cars scattered about complete the unusual retail space. Designed to appeal to the young adult crowd, it is also a great meeting and eating place for people of any age as Mercedes-Benz strives to meet and exceed customer expectation both in presentation and delivery of their automobiles. It appears that Mercedes-Benz is living up to its motto of “Best Customer Experience.”
According to statistics from Mercedes-Benz, approximately seventy-five percent of their customers choose to utilize dealership services from initial purchase through follow-up services including maintenance. This results from years of efforts directed toward optimizing costs of ownership, among other factors.
Nearly forty percent of all Chinese Mercedes-Benz purchasers take advantage of the financial packages that include financing, leasing, and insurance services. Mercedes-Benz puts forth its best efforts to helping people realize their dreams—dealers, employees, and associates, not just customers. Mercedes-Benz strives for sincerity, genuineness, transparency, and fairness in its dealings with all those with whom it comes in contact.