Mercedes-Benz Malaysia eyes higher sales volume in second half of the year

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia is cautiously optimistic of achieving a better sales volume in the second half of this year. — Reuters pic
Mercedes-Benz Malaysia is cautiously optimistic of achieving a better sales volume in the second half of this year. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 2 — Mercedes-Benz Malaysia is cautiously optimistic of achieving a better sales volume in the second half of this year in line with the country’s economic health and development as it recovers from Covid-19.

President and chief executive officer Claus Weidner said after being closed for about seven weeks during the movement control order (MCO) and conditional MCO period, the global automobile marque was now back in business and hoped to recover some of the losses by focusing on services in all of its segments especially customers’ needs and demands.

“We are closely working and supporting our dealers to focus on customer strategy and customer care as we want them to have ease of mind and feel safe when coming to our centres whether for service and showroom.

 “Moving forward, we need to get used to the digital setup to reach out to a wider range of customers. We may need to have a hybrid approach by combining the physical and digital approaches to customers as personal interaction is important for us to connect with dealers, partners and customers in getting a better understanding of our products,” he said in a virtual interview today.

The session was titled “Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Post Covid-19 Recovery Measures & Market Outlook”.

Yesterday, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia hosted its first digital launch of three new performance vehicles in the compact segment, namely, Mercedes-AMG A 35 Hatchback, A 45 S Hatchback and CLA 45 S 4MATIC Coupe.

Asked on Mercedes’ targets for the new vehicles and general sales for this year, Weidner declined to comment given the unprecedented Covid-19 situation. However, he assured that the new launches would keep the business running based on the overwhelming 200,000 pieces of feedback that it initially received from dealers and customers.

“We have to balance out the new reality and the new expectation of customers.

“Customer demand is changing but looking at the set of our customers, we do not see that our set of cars would be changing because we are constantly bringing exciting new features comprising the latest technology, engine power, cool connectivity, and lock safety features, to name a few,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mercedes’ sales and marketing vice president Michael Jopp said the company had learned a lot by digitally communicating with dealers and customers and took the time to constantly prepare and brief dealers on all safety protocols and service checkpoints.

“We are happy to be able to operate again since mid-May and have been sharing best practices with our counterparts in other regions on how to improve dealings and communications with customers’ evolving demand of services and products,” he said.

Asked on the decreased demand for luxury cars, Jopp admitted that personal disposable income and an economic crisis such as the present could be instrumental but said he was confident that the dip was temporary and that demand would bounce back.

On customers’ request for a repayment moratorium, he said discussions with the former and relevant parties on financing restructuring were ongoing.  —Bernama

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