Posts Tagged ‘mercedes’
Mark Raine, Mercedes-Benz Cars vice-president of sales and marketing (Malaysia), has been active in the car scene lately, leading record sales for Mercedes last year with almost 12,000 units sold in 2016. There are many interesting factors that contributed to the growth of Mercedes-Benz in Malaysia and also in South East Asia.
What has made the premium brand a success as of late? What are their recipes to success and sustainability? I have the privilege to interview Mark Raine during my short visit to Kota Kinabalu last week. Mark is a very easy going lad and very approachable. Thank you for hosting the media and customers last week and arranging a great three day event in showcasing how Mercedes-Benz is not just a product but a lifestyle.
Interviewing Mark Raine at Shangrila’s Rasa Ria
Rano Iskandar: Can you share the growth of Mercedes-Benz and its growing presence in South East Asia?
Mark Raine: I believe we have a holistic approach in our brand, Mercedes-Benz and this has been a huge factor in our growth and being a brand leader in the premium category. We don’t only have the best car but also focusing on customer centric in a way of doing our business, to give a more positive customer experience before and after sales. Even the process of buying a Mercedes is taken into account such as having a competent website, digital approach and also the consultation process. All these are essential in the buying process so in the end, the customers are happy with their choices. This is already half the victory in catering to what the customers want.
The real deal starts after the sales and we at Mercedes emphasizes deeply in this area as this will determine our loyalty of our customers. It has proven a success and it is no doubt that the growth of Mercedes in the premium sector has increased despite the downturn in the economy in SEA.
The extension of the models from Mercedes-Benz has helped to elevate the growth of the brand in the premium sector. These are such as the SUV models – the GLEs, GLCs and GLAs being introduced in the market.
Rano Iskandar: Speaking of the trend, is this segment a huge trend in the region for Mercedes and how it came about?
Mark Raine: Yes, this is more of a global trend that SUVs have impacting the trend. However, there was little choices in the premium segment. We have a gut feeling and took a gamble in this segment and we believed that SUV is the thing of the future. This was also the key element of positioning of the Mercedes brand (in the SUV segment), focusing on lifestyle and affluent customers. This has helped to rejuvenate the brand while improving on innovation and technology.
Rano Iskandar: Why Kota Kinabalu as the prime destination for the #hungryforadventure ?
Mark Raine: The destination speaks for itself and we want to associate the mindset of our customers that our brand offers endurance, great positioning for different walks of life such as taking your children to school or on the weekend, bring your bike for a spin or going for a round of golf and lastly Kota Kinabalu gives a sense of adrenalin which resonates with our brand. We were fortunate that we have different weather conditions during our hill drive this morning at Sabah National Park and it showed what our SUVs are capable of.
We at Mercedes tend to organize events like this twice a year. We will invite our stakeholders along such as the media, the customers to showcase what SUVs are about and also being a premium brand, we want to be approachable to our customers by having a touch and feel on what Mercedes have to offer.
Rano Iskandar: Which model in Malaysia has been a top seller?
Mark Raine: It will be the C class and it targets all walks of life. However, it’s not the only model that has been popular but the compact cars and other models such as the E Class that was launched last year in Malaysia. Pretty soon we will be launching the new E 350E the latest hybrid brand. In terms of growth, it will be the SUVs and the GLC is the best selling in Malaysia and we sold over 3,000 units since its launch.
Mark Raine, Mercedes-Benz Cars vice-president of sales and marketing (Malaysia), posing with the latest Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 at Hap Seng Star showroom at Kota Kinabalu recently
Rano Iskandar: Why introducing the GLC 200 if you already have the GLC 250?
Mark Raine: We have the GLC 250 which is a brilliant product. It’s an SUV 4WD and offers great speed and comfort, positioning it as a very sporty, luxury model.
However to a certain extent, we are only capturing a lot of market but there are customers who want different qualities and traits and their mindsets are different from other customers. Hence the GLC 200 repositions itself in more exclusive luxury segment. It comes standard in on-road package or off-road package. The interior package also makes the value perception of this vehicle very, very high. The GLC 200 is just a notch below the GLC 250, hence makes it more affordable for most customers in the market. The unique selling point of the GLC 200 will be the exclusive luxurious appeal with high value perception and many features at a very competitive price.
Rano Iskandar: The GLC 200 is locally assembled in Malaysia. Is there any difference from the ones being imported?
Mark Raine: No difference at all. Same car, same quality, same quality checks. In essence, the same car. In South East Asia, we have a local production because we have tax exemptions and it makes the pricing more attractive.
Rano Iskandar: The GLE 43 Coupe OrangeArt Limited Edition. Share me more about it.
Mark Raine: It’s already available through order. It’s very limited and exclusive order. It’s very eccentric and flashy feel. It has a 21 inch AMG wheels with the OrangeArt Edition exterior package. We even have the Night Package. The eccentric and unique edition features extravagant design highlights including striking expressive decals in the orange on the front apron and the AMG wheels painted in high-gloss black and rim flange painted in orange.
The GLE 43 Coupe Orange Art Edition making it a high end personalised edition giving that special, individualized character and it’s definitely a striking appeal.
I had the privilege to test drive the GLC 200 and it will available in Brunei market hopefully by November 2017
Loving the feel and the drive. Of course, I love the AMG GLC 250 but this model is still good enough to keep me satisfied
A nice touch when I opened the door of the GLC 200
Day 2 – Group shot with the representatives from Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Loas, the Philippines and Brunei. This was taken at entrance at the Ocean Wing, Shangrila’s Rasa Ria resort at Tuaran, Sabah.
This was our car for the day – the Mercedes-Benz GLC AMG 250. So much to love about this model and it’s one of the most popular model in South East Asia.
Some of the media representatives
The jungle trekking at Sabah National Park which lasted roughly 2 kilometre
The dry bag sponsored by Mercedes-Benz do come in handy
One of the media had the opportunity to hug a tree. I should have done that. This was the 2nd round of trekking which was tougher than the first one. I survived but my sneakers were all dirty from the soft ground.
We finally worked out the navigation for easier reference while driving. Hence we realised less on waze unless we want traffic update.
Taken at the Kinabalu Pine Resort where we had our lunch pitstop before heading back to the hotel
Group photo with representatives from Brunei Darussalam. We all had a good time.
A shot with the mountain view. I love the background scenery.
A situation where there is overcrowding of Mercedes-Benz SUVs at one spot
This is a pretty sight with all the convoys of the SUVs
On our way back from the mountain and the fog started to set in pretty early
A true test when it rained and of course, the Mercedes-Benz SUVs had little trouble during the rain with some puddles along the way
After trying out the GLC AMG 43 and the GLC AMG 250, I test drove the tamer version which will be launched in Brunei in November – The GLC 200. Again, a luxurious model of its own.
I tested with the Sport+ and Eco mode and you can tell the difference. I even did the launch control on the long stretch at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria. Love that adrenalin feeling.
Apart from the test drive, I love the fact that our host accommodate the invitees to stay over at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resot and I truly loved the experience. I made use of the humungous bath tub outside my room.
The finale BBQ dinner to cap off the #ReadyForAdventure trip. Thanks once again!
Representatives of Jati Transport and their customers from Brunei also joined the fun 🙂
I wanted to pamper myself and indulged for a massage session at the hotel. I shall give this 4 stars for the overall experience. I even fell asleep at one stage. So good.
Only 2 nights here and I made myself so comfortable at my room at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria. This is one of the best hotels I have stayed in 2017. Maybe the best 😀
Kenny Ng, General Manager of Emerging Markets, Daimler South East Asia and Ho Ley Hoon, Sales Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd with selected owners of Mercedes-Benz SUVs before heading off on a road trip to Kota Kinabalu.
Jati Transport Sdn Bhd invited selected SUV owners of Mercedes-Benz and two members of the media for Mercedes-Benz SUV Endurance Road Trip to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
This was considered my fifth overseas assignment for automative in the past few years and this time it’s a road trip from Brunei to Kota Kinabalu. Yes, I’ve been on the road once but only from KK to Brunei and not back and forth. It’s an honour to have Jati Transport organizing the Mercedes-Benz SUV Endurance trip and also inviting me to be part of the media team. Thank you, thank you.
The flag off took place at 7am yesterday at the new Mercedes-Benz Autohaus at Beribi. There were a convey of 8 Mercedes-Benz and they were flagged off by Kenny Ng, General Manager of Emerging Markets, Daimler South East Asia and Ho Ley Hoon, Sales Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd before the entourage departed to Kota Kinabalu.
The trip took roughly six and a half hours before arriving at Hap Seng Star showroom (Mercedes-Benz KK). The entourage is expected to drive back from Kota Kinabalu tomorrow lunch time.
Kenny Ng doing the honours to flag off at Mercedes-Benz Autohaus
Lo Hey Loon flagging off the endurance drive
Catching the ferry at the half way point to Kota Kinabalu
The ferry must have been worth a lot since it carried 8 Mercedes-Benz vehicle and one Kijang on the one minute ride
Some parts were affected by the flood.
What was being showcase? The media from Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Cambodia and selected Mercedes-Benz owners from Brunei Darussalam were invited for the exclusive launch of the Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 at Hap Seng Star showroom at Kota Kinabalu.
The Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 was unveiled by Mercedes-Benz Malaysia sales and marketing, passenger cars vice president, Mark Raine, who flew in from Kuala Lumpur for the 3 day event.
Another edition has been added to the Mecedes-Benz SUV family – the GLC 200. This is to cater to the unique lifestyle and demands of its customers with the launch of the new GLC variant: the GLC 200. It is equipped with numerous high-end features including the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission, an Off-road exterior package, 19 inch 5-spoke allow wheels and LED High Performance headlamps. The interior has a luxurious appeal with a high value perception. The interior colors ranging from black, espresso brown to silk beige in combination with the exclusive brown open-pore ash wood trim and the ARTICO man-made leather dashboard underline the exclusive appearance of the premium SUV.
Malaysians had the privileged of the locally-assembled GLC 250 4MATIC and now they have brought it a new variant to underline its claim as the leader in the premium SUV segment in Malaysia and this also provide a wider avenue for their customers to choose from.
According to Mark Raine, “The introduction of Mercedes-Benz’s premium SUB range has establish this segment to the luxury market. As the No.1 premium brand, we combine ultimate driving comfort, dynamic handling and great ability, as our SUVs define new benchmarks, break conventions and provide our customers with their ultimate choice of vehicle for their unique and active lifestyle. As the locally produced GLC a crowd favourite, we are excited to bring the GLC 200 as an additional choice for those who desire and exclusive SUV.”
The GLC 200 is powered by a 2.0 liter 4 in-line engine, which produces an output of 135kW (184hp) and 300 Nm of torque. The nee-stage 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission also comes as standard on the GLC 200. Depending on the mode selected for the DYNAMIC SELECT dynamic handling control, the automatic transmission with a torque converter boasts great agility and responsiveness.
Its interior features Exclusive line, including upholstery in ARTICO man-made leather/fabric, ARTICO-covered dashboard with contrasting topstitching in three colors, seats featuring an exclusively upholstery layout, wood trim in high-gloss brown line structure lime and the 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel.
Hap Seng Star showroom at Kota Kinabalu. Nice, nice!!
Mark Raine posing with the newly launched GLC 200
Members of the media from other countries came in to witness the launch
Now this OrangeArt Edition caught my eye. Very limited too.
The Mercedes-Benz that was given for me to drive – the GLC AMG 43… Wooohooo
The interior of the AMG 43
Our hotel room at Shangrila’s Rasa Ria which was quite far from the city. Love the hotel and thank you, Mercedes-Benz, for hosting us
Let’s have fun during our endurance trip
Mr Andrew Chiam, Jati Transport Executive Director, YM Pg Anak Hj Ja’afar Ibni Almarhum Pg Pemancha Pg Anak Hj Mohd ‘Alam, Jati Transport Sdn Bhd Executive Chairman, Dr Claus Weidner, Head of Marketing & Sales Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars South East Asia 2 and President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Mr Wolfgang Huppenbauer, President & CEO of Daimler South East Asia Pte Ltd, Singapore officiating the new Mercedes-Benz Autohaus at Beribi last Friday. Image courtesy of Nurul.
The new Mercedes-Benz Autohaus. It’s bigger and spacious indeed!
Jati Transport Sdn Bhd celebrated the 30th anniversary of their appointment as the Mercedes-Benz General Distributor in Brunei with the official opening of the new Mercedes-Benz Autohaus in Beribi last Friday.
With an investment of $5 million, the new Mercedes-Benz Autohaus incorporates the latest Mercedes-Benz concept by Daimler AG, Germany, occupying a build-up area of 28,000 square feet that features a 13 vehicles display area. The bright open tiled showroom with floor-to-ceiling glass walls includes a luxurious customer lounge with complimentary refreshments, LED television, wifi, a new car delivery area and a Mercedes-Benz Merchandise shop. The state-of-the-art workshop features 15 service bays as well as a warehouse for spare parts, and is equipped with world-leading diagnostic and repair equipment.
The new facility also boasts a professional sales and after-sales team, providing the best-in-class global standards of service for every Mercedes-Benz customer.
On hand to officiate at the launch of the new facility were Jati Transport Sdn Bhd Executive Chairman, YM Pg Anak Hj Ja’afar Ibni Almarhum Pg Pemancha Pg Anak Hj Mohd ‘Alam, Jati Transport Executive Director, Mr Andrew Chiam, Head of Marketing & Sales Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars South East Asia 2 and President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Dr Claus Weidner, and President & CEO of Daimler South East Asia Pte Ltd, Singapore, Mr Wolfgang Huppenbauer.
In celebration of their 30th anniversary, Jati Transport Sdn Bhd presented donations of $5,000 each to six charities, namely:
1) Dana Pengiran Muda Mahkota Al-Muhtadee Billah Fund for Orphans
2) Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam
3) Tabung Orang-orang Cacat
4) Persatuan Kanak-Kanak Cacat (KACA)
5) Tabung Anak-Anak Yatim Daerah Brunei dan Muara
6) SMARTER Brunei
The lovely cake for Jati Transport’s milestone
It has been unveiled
Quite a crowd witnessing the new Autohaus
Ok, this one caught my eye 😀
Hello Tiger :p
The newly selected apprentices with Alfred So, General Manager of Jati Transport, Dominic Wells, Senior Manager of Training from Mercedes-Benz (Malaysia), Mr. Stephen Reid, Service Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd, Mr. Jackson, Workshop Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd and the parents of the three apprentices during the signing ceremony
Muhd Noor Najib bin Awang Abdullah, Abdul Wafiy bin Hj Rudzi and Muhamad Azmin bin Abdul Wahab
Yesterday Jati Transport Sdn Bhd signed an apprenticeship contract with two attachment students form the Institute of Brunei Technical Education (ITBE) and one trainee from Jati Transport under the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Modern Apprenticeship (AMA) Programme. Jati Transport Sdn Bhd will be sponsoring all costs including training fees and monthly allowances.
The signing ceremony took place at Jati Transport Beribi Showroom yesterday. Dominic Wells, Senior Manager of Training from Mercedes-Benz (Malaysia), Mr. Alfred So, General Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd, Mr. Stephen Reid, Service Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd, Mr. Jackson, Workshop Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd and the parents of the three apprentices witnessed the signing ceremony.
The AMA programme is a 3-year interactive training that aims to foster the best automative talent for Mercedes-Benz. The apprentices, Abdul Wafiy bin Hj Rudzi, Muhd Noor Najib bin Awang Abdullah and Muhamad Azmin bin Abdul Wahab will work with a team of professional trainers and ambitious young stars, alongside a chance to earn while learning.
Upon successful completion of the programme, the apprentices will gain – City & Guild VTQ Level 3 (Vocational Related Qualification), QMT (Qualified Maintenance Technician), QST (Qualified System Technician) and AMA from Mercedes-Benz. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain professional qualifications and real practical experience for the apprentices to embark on an exciting and rewarding career with Jati Transport Sdn Bhd.
Signing on the dotted line
With Mr. Stephen Reid, Service Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd and Dominic Wells, Senior Manager of Training from Mercedes-Benz (Malaysia)
Rano thoughts: It was great to know of this program made available to Bruneians and a big thank you to Jati Transport Sdn Bhd for making it possible. Initially there were six being shortlisted during the interview conducted by Mr. Stephen Reid, Service Manager of Jati Transport, and in the end, three were chosen. Stephen shared that the company values work ethics very high and the chosen ones have demonstrated good work ethics during their short attachment at Jati Transport.
Abdul Wafiy, Muhd Noor Najib and Muhamad Azmin felt very excited yet nervous on the opportunities given. Their parents who were present during the signing ceremony were proud of their sons achievement and being selected. There were given opportunities to ask questions with regards to the training program in Kuala Lumpur and Alfred So, General Manager of Jati Transport reassured the parents that everything will be taken care of and hope the parents will be in communication with Stephen on their sons’ progress.
The newly selected apprentices will be flying end of June (at least they can spend their Hari Raya with their families before flying) and their Mercedes-Benz Advance Modern Apprenticeship Programme will be at located at Mercedes-Benz Training Academy a the company’s Head Office site in Pouching, Kinrara, Selangor, Malaysia.
I just visited a blog of Paultan.org and he has some nice photos of the head office and training centre. It must be a real privilege for our young local apprentices to be part of AMA programme. I’m quite excited to know they will be posted there for three years to learn the latest technology and training made available by Mercedes-Benz.
Dominic Wells, Senior Manager Training & Technical Market Support Mercedes-Benz Malaysia & Region SEA2 Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, will be conducting parts of the training and shared that the three Bruneians will join 60 other apprentices from Malaysia. I’m pretty sure they will be under the good care of Dominic.
Good luck to all the apprentices and make us proud 🙂
The head office and training centre of Mercedes-Benz in Selangor, Malaysia. Image courtesy of Paul Tan.
How the office looks like. Cool 😀
The workshop training area. Image courtesy of Paul Tan.
This looks pretty cool. Image courtesy of Paul Tan.
The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet
Ms Pong Bee Thing receiving the key of her new car from Alfred So, the General Manager of Jati Transport
Ms Pong Bee Thing was the first customer to drive home her new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet last Friday. She’s proud to be the first one to receive the striking cabriolet right after the model launch. She chose a C 180 Cabriolet in Designo Diamond White with the rood in red. This vehicle has also included an extensive range of optional extras such as the Burmester Surround sound system and a 19-inch AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels. She has been waiting for her order since 2015 and now she has the privileged to drive one.
For your info, the new C-Class Cabriolet is the first of its kind in the C-Class segment. The Cabriolet craves out a distinctive niche in Mercedes-Benz. The 2017 C-Class Cabriolet is a true four-seat convertible that comest with the latest technology to ensure driving comfort and safety. It is exquisitely built with the roof down and one of the most affordable luxury and spacious convertibles.
Ms Pong, the owner of the new C Cabriolet said, “I felt in love the very instant I saw the sneak pictures of the vehicle from Mr. Ho (Jati Transport Sales Manager). I was so confident with Mercedes-Benz that I had booked the vehicle without any test drive.”
“I have been driving Mercedes-Benz for almost 10 years and this cabriolet is my third Mercedes-Benz. I am really satisfied with the customer service provided by Jati Transport and now I’m looking forward to enjoy my new cabriolet for the first time.”
Enjoying her first taste of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet
The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet
The Mercedes-Benz designers have restyled the product range with great success. The upcoming compact class generation marks the dawn of an even more rigorous implementation of the design idiom of “sensual purity”. The “Aesthetics A” sculpture provides a first indication.
The designers at Mercedes-Benz are reconciling tradition and modernity in designing the cars for the future. Their work centres on ‘Sensual Purity’ as an expression of modern luxury. In applying this design philosophy, Mercedes-Benz sparked a transformation in design with the current AClass, launched in 2012. The new design idiom featuring edges and creases – indentations and recesses in the sheet metal – aimed to create clear forms and sensual surfaces which showcase high tech while also arousing emotions. This played a decisive role in making the brand younger and was key to the company’s excellent sales results. Every Mercedes-Benz model that followed since was born from this philosophy despite having an individual character.
With the “Aesthetics A” sculpture, the design team now presents the vision of a saloon car in the compact car segment which is stripped down to the essential body. It also provides a clear indication of how the design philosophy of ‘Sensual Purity’ will be manifested in the not too distant future. The “Aesthetics A” sculpture embodies the advancement of the Mercedes-Benz design idiom.
“Form and body are what remain when creases and lines are reduced to the extreme. We have the courage to implement this purism”, says Chief Design Officer of Daimler AG, Gorden Wagener. “In combination with perfect proportions and sensual surface design, the upcoming generation of the compact class has the potential to herald a new design era. Design is also the art of omission: the days of creases are over”.
Rather than modifying the basic shape with lines and creases, the Mercedes-Benz designers employ sweeping surfaces at angles to each other to contour the body design with light and shadow and to emphasise the proportions. This makes the essence of a body visible and communicates it in a credible way. The expressive and confident red as a new signature Mercedes-Benz colour underscores the sensuality and emotion of the sculpture.
“Aesthetics A” has a three-box design and is thus also a sign of new forms in the compact class, because outside of Germany and Europe classic saloons are also very much in demand in this segment.
The “Aesthetics A” sculpture is a continuation of a series of sculptures from Mercedes-Benz which to date comprises the works “Aesthetics No. 1” (2010), “Aesthetics No. 2”, “Aesthetics 125” (both 2011) and “Aesthetics S” (2012).
Design as a key success factor for Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz design serves to showcase a passion for automobiles in a modern design idiom. The importance which Daimler AG attaches to design today was highlighted when the post of Chief Design Officer was established on 1 November 2016. Dr Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “Good design is about much more than simply creating beautiful products: It combines functionality with fascination and gives brand values a distinctive form. We are delighted that our design team under the leadership of Gorden Wagener is among the best in the industry, because the excellent global sales of our vehicles is ultimately also due to their outstanding design”.
Jati Transport Appreciation Day is an event specially organised to thank all Mercedes-Benz Brunei customers for placing their trust in our products and services over the past years.
At the event, our guests were treated to a widespread of international cuisine and their children enjoying an afternoon full of fun activities such as face painting, hand henna, photo booth, etc.
A special demonstration on Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive were also demonstrated at the event with the new S-Class. Our sales executives demonstrated the driver assistance system which helps the driver to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead and to remain in the centre of the lane. DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot relieves the strain on the driver, especially on long journeys and in tailbacks.
A Mercedes-Benz powerbank were also given away to those who take part in the Park Pilot challenge and successfully perform the autonomous parking. The Park Pilot system can pilot the vehicle into parking spaces automatically by means of braking and steering intervention. If an automatic transmission is fitted, the speed is controlled automatically and gear changes are automatic also.
Our guests were given the opportunity to test drive a full range of Mercedes-Benz models. Images courtesy of Jati Transport and Aziz Idris of Borneo Bulletin.