Kuala Lumpur – Demand for Mercedes-Benz cars continue to be strong based on better than expected sales for the first six months ending Jun 2009 reflecting the optimism in the recovering economy.
“We have had a remarkable six months despite a marginal 2.2 dip in overall sales compared o the corresponding period last year,” said Florian Mueller, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s Vice President for Sales and Marketing at a briefing this morning.
Looking at the sales figures of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, given the current economic environment and its effects on the global automotive industry, Mueller has every reason to be proud. The company delivered 1860 passenger cars to once again lead the pack in the premium passenger cars segment.
“We are pleased that we have done exceptionally well and our sales figures speak for themselves. While our sales in 2008 was very good, we did set realistic goals this year. All things considered, we have almost matched our YTD 2008 figures for passenger cars and this has placed us in a very good position to achieve our targets this year.”
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class continues to command in its segment with over 850 units sold accounting for a stellar 42.8 per cent rise compared to the H108. The popularity of the sleek and sporty C-Class remains undisputable buoyed by the sales of the C230 AVANTGARDE, launched in 2008.
The comfortable and spacious Mercedes-Benz B-Class also continues to garner a strong demand within its segment with 148 units delivered registering almost 2.1 per cent increase. Targeted at families, sales figures were better than expected as this segment of the market was more cautious in their spending patterns during these uncertain economic times.
“While the C-Class and B-Class have recorded impressive results for the first half of 2009, other models have registered commendable performances and are doing well in their respective segments, albeit taking a slight dip compared to YTD 2008.” said Mueller.
The ever popular Mercedes-Benz E-Class once again proved to be the most favoured car in its segment with over 680 cars delivered in the H109 thanks to its association with elegance, comfort and safety.
Meanwhile, the top of the line Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the pinnacle of luxury in the Mercedes-Benz passenger car marquee, leads its segment as the premier choice thanks to the S 500 L launched late 2008. With over 140 units sold, the S-Class has come to symbolise the essence of Mercedes-Benz pioneering safety features and sophistication.
The recently launched ML350 and ML 63 AMG each combine the renowned luxury of Mercedes-Benz and the features of a rugged SUV into one excellent machine. The cars have generated a lot of buzz and enquiries have been very encouraging.
“We are definitely encouraged by the performance of our passenger cars and we look to build on this momentum as we go through the next six months. Our sales to date confirm the demand for premium and luxury cars is holding strong and is reflective of a gradually recovering economy. We will continue our efforts as planned for the rest of the year and as always provide the best possible support to our dealer networks and customers.”
The slowdown in the construction and transportation sectors impacted sales of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia trucks and commercial vehicles in tandem with the trend across the board in this segment. However, the company is optimistic that the situation will see improvement in the coming months with the main beneficiaries of government spending, such as construction and building materials expected to drive growth while global demand for electrical and electronic (E&E) goods projected to improve in the months ahead.
“Mercedes-Benz Malaysia looks forward to the recovery for this segment as the construction industry is starting to reap the benefits from government incentives and the company has already started to feel the shift within these segments,” Mueller added.
He added that the company is confident that the second half of 2009 will yield positive results and continues to keep ahead of its peers. Based on its performance in previous years, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia traditionally, performs better in the second half of the year.
Globally, Mercedes-Benz Cars sold 544,400 Mercedes-Benz, AMG, smart, and Maybach brand vehicles (2008: 668,100) in the first six months of 2009. Despite ongoing market difficulties, a total of 483,300 Mercedes-Benz brand vehicles were delivered to customers worldwide from January to June 2009 (2008: 599,200). In Asia Pacific, Mercedes-Benz Cars recorded sales of 73,900 units resulting in a minimal dip from the previous year by 4.7 per cent.
According to the parent company, vehicle inventory at the end of the second quarter was reduced to its lowest levels in years, lower even than original targets. Based on the recovering trend of the worldwide markets and the sales performance for June 2009, a stabilization of sales is expected for the second half of 2009.
The Western European markets pulled in the lion’s share of sales for the first half of 2009 with 323,000 units sold. Mercedes-Benz remained the market leader in Germany in the premium segment in June, with 30,100 vehicles sold, a result that matched last year´s level of sales (June 2008: 30,500).
Sales of the smart fortwo in Germany were also up, having increased by seven percent to 16,700 units since the beginning of the year (January – June 2008: 15,600). Worldwide, a total of 61,100 units of the smart fortwo were delivered in the first six months of 2009 (January – June 2008: 68,900).
Mercedes-Benz continued its dynamic growth in the emerging markets of China and Brazil. It is the fastest-growing premium brand in China with sales once again reaching record levels in June – increasing by 34 percent to 4,900 vehicles (June 2008: 3,700). In Brazil, sales of Mercedes-Benz models have increased by 44 percent since the beginning of the year, to 2,300 units (same period last year: 1,600 units).
Further information on Mercedes-Benz Malaysia is available on the internet at: www.mercedesbenz-malaysia.com