Posts Tagged ‘mercedes’
Stuttgart/Amsterdam. There are just a few days to go: the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class celebrates its world premiere in Amsterdam on 2 February 2018. With Mercedes me media, anyone can be there live – wherever they are in the world. Press materials, photos and videos relating to the A-Class are available via a constantly updated media hub.
This year, the new AClass as a harbinger of the new compact car generation will replace a bestseller that has decisively contributed to a more youthful brand image for Mercedes-Benz. The new Mercedes-Benz AClass retains its youthful and dynamic character, yet it is also more grown up and comfortable than ever. It completely redefines modern luxury in the compact class, and revolutionises interior design.
One of many technological highlights is MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience. A unique feature of this multimedia system is its ability to learn thanks to artificial intelligence. Its other strengths include the high-resolution Widescreen Cockpit with touchscreen control, navigation display with augmented reality technology plus intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition, which is launched by saying “Hey Mercedes”.
Anybody around the world who wants to watch the worldwide premiere can do so live on Mercedes me media at https://media.mercedes-benz.com/A-Class2018. Visit the portal on 2 February at 6.45 p.m. (Central European Time so Brunei time will be 1:45am 3rd February) to watch the Pre-Show, which includes a brief summary of all the highlights from the afternoon programme. The live stream of the vehicle presentation starts at 7.00 p.m.
The AMG sports models are distinguished by convincing product substance. Even at first glance, the characteristic AMG body styling leaves no doubt that this model is part of the Mercedes-AMG model family. Another indication for the new model strategy is found in the form of a special AMG badge on the front wings. From an engineering standpoint the AMG sports models perfectly deliver on the visual promise of a sporty character with a powerful engine, the standard-fit all-wheel drive system with rear-biased torque split, and sophisticated suspension solutions.
Authentic driving dynamics thanks to hallmark AMG DNA
The AMG C 43 4MATIC is based on the most powerful production model of the C-Class, the C 400 4MATIC. The engineers have revised many technical features of the AMG sports model. Their objective: a high level of authentic driving dynamics geared towards the Mercedes-AMG C 63. To this end, a host of suspension components were adopted from the top-of-the-line V8 model. The driver also feels the DNA of the C 63 in the application of the engine and transmission management. Agility and sportiness dominate the intense driving experience in the AMG C 43 4MATIC on every kilometre.
The 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine is part of the BlueDIRECT engine family from Mercedes-Benz. Technical advances including a modified boost pressure allowed the AMG engineers to increase the engine’s power output and torque. With 270 kW (367 hp) and 520 Newton metres the V6 engine sets new standards in its segment – which is evident in the convincing performance: a sprint time from zero to 100 km/h of 4.9 seconds underscores the sporty temperament of the AMG C 43 4MATIC.
Supreme or dynamic: the choice is yours
Thanks to a hefty torque curve the AMG sports model is agile, direct and dynamic. With the help of various AMG-specific drive programmes the driver is able to tailor the character of the AMG C 43 4MATIC to his or her personal preferences: the modes “Eco”, “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport Plus” as well as “Individual” are available to choose from for this purpose. The drive programmes adjust the suspension, steering and powertrain as desired, and are selected conveniently with the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch to the left of the touchpad.
Especially the “Sport Plus” programme delivers impressive hallmark AMG dynamics and enhances the emotional appeal: partial cylinder suppression during gear changes by means of a momentary and precisely defined retardation of ignition and injection under full throttle speeds up the gear changes, and can also be acoustically experienced by the driver. The emotional double-declutching functions during downshifts and the “exhaust rumbling” in overrun mode provide the fitting accompaniment. The throaty engine sound – a hallmark AMG experience – also plays a crucial role in the most powerful V6 model: to this end, the engineers have developed a new sports exhaust system with lower back-pressure and reduced weight.
The driving sensation is also characterised by the set-up of the accelerator pedal: the more the driver changes the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT settings from “Eco” towards “Sport Plus”, the more spontaneous and dynamic is the throttle response of the twin-turbo V6 engine. The driver also experiences authentic and emotional dynamics during engine start if desired: when the twin-turbo V6 engine is started in the “Sport Plus” drive programme, the engine speed quickly jumps to 2000 rpm for a moment before immediately settling back down to idle speed. Whether the driver wants to experience the engine start accompanied by a sporty or a more subdued sound depends on the most recently activated drive programme – it remains stored for four hours.
The “Eco” programme integrates an ECO start/stop function and a sailing function to reduce fuel consumption: when the driver releases the accelerator in a speed range between 60 and 160 km/h, the clutch of the transmission is disengaged and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. The electronics reduce the engine speed to idle level, and the driving resistance is reduced by the compression and frictional forces of the engine in overrun mode.
Optimal traction thanks to Performance all-wheel drive
The all-wheel-drive system familiar from a number of AMG high-performance cars is also being used in the AMG C 43 4MATIC. The perfect grip during acceleration effectively prevents losses caused by slip. For thrilling driving dynamics 33 percent of the engine power is sent to the front axle and 67 percent to the rear axle. The rear-biased torque split results in higher agility around the vehicle’s vertical axis. Another major factor in this is the sportier set-up of the ESP® with Curve Dynamic Assist. The tangible effects for sporty drivers are lateral dynamics and cornering performance increased to an above-average level.
Interior with exclusive, sporty flair
The AMG C 43 4MATIC fascinates with exclusivity and sportiness in the interior as well. The pleasant touch and feel of the materials and the quality of workmanship ensure a convincing value appeal and an emotional passenger experience.
The ARTICO/DINAMICA upholstery and the instrument panel trimmed with black ARTICO man-made leather convey the sporty ambience in superior fashion. ARTICO is also used on the upper edges of the body, the armrests, the door centre panels and the centre console. Red contrasting topstitching, designo red safety belts and black floor mats with red edging add attractive highlights.
Sports seats with AMG-specific seat upholstery layout and pronounced lateral support offer long-distance comfort and brace the passengers during dynamic cornering. A fitting complement to the sporty handling is the 3-spoke nappa leather multifunction sports steering wheel with flat bottom. The convincing looks and touch and feel comes in part also courtesy of loving details such as red contrasting topstitching, the moulded grip area, steering-wheel paddle shifters and the silver chrome steering wheel trim.
The instrument cluster also sports the typical AMG style: this source of information comprises dials in the sporty “chequered flag” design, a 280-km/h speedometer scale, red speedometer needles and a specific typography.
Test Drove the Mercedes-Benz CLA recently and I enjoyed it
This car is equipped with the AMG Line. This design and equipment line combines carefully coordinated features to increase the sportiness and exclusivity of the vehicle still further. Dynamic looks from all angles are ensured by the powerful AMG bodystyling comprising front apron, rear apron and side sill panels plus a diamond radiator grille with chrome pins and the twin-pipe exhaust system with chrome-plated tailpipe trim. The lowered sports suspension improves handling and increases driving pleasure. (18-inch) AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels Painted titanium grey and with a high-sheen finish, perforated brake discs at the front and callipers at the front with Mercedes-Benz lettering round off the striking exterior. Sports seats in ARTICO man-made leather / DINAMICA microfibre, the multifunction sports steering wheel with flattened bottom section and a leather shift lever add stylish, sporty touches to the interior. These items feature contrasting red topstitching, which is also to be found on the armrests in the doors and on the armrest on the centre console. Another highlight comes in the shape of the brushed stainless steel sports pedals with rubber studs.
Multicolour ambience lighting – lighting mood to suit personal taste
Climb in and feel at home – with its pleasant, indirect light, the ambient lighting creates an unrivalled sense of well-being in the interior. Especially at night, it accentuates the contouring and high quality of the interior design, imparts a feeling of comfort and security by conjuring up an impression of spaciousness and reduces dazzle from oncoming traffic. 12 different colours and five dimming levels are available for the desired lighting mood. The ambience lighting features full LED technology, and is conveniently controlled via the instrument cluster. It also switches on when the doors are opened, welcoming the passengers on board.
Smartphone Integration – for safe and intuitive use of a smartphone
With Smartphone Integration it is possible to integrate an iPhone® into the vehicle via Apple CarPlay™ and also Android smartphones via Android Auto and operate them by voice control – certain functions can also be used via the vehicle controls. This makes safe use possible while on the move. The connection to the smartphone allows access to up-to-date software and data such as navigation and traffic information, media (Streaming Media and IP Radio) as well as contact data, telephony/FaceTime and messaging. To prevent driver distraction while on the move, there is no complete duplication of smartphone content.
The best part when I drove the CLA – Apple Car Play
All you have to do press the Siri button on the steering wheel
And you can ask Siri anything 😀
You can choose your destination on the Siri and it will show on the display panel
LED High Performance headlamps – more lighting power, lower energy consumption
In addition to the striking look, the LED High Performance headlamps provide more safety at night thanks to a broad light distribution, a light colour similar to daylight and low energy consumption. Also in daytime, the clearly defined contours and high-quality detailing ensure an unmistakable front view. Thanks to the LED technology used in the low-beam and main-beam headlamps, the road is illuminated better than with conventional halogen headlamps. When unlocking the vehicle, the “Coming Home” function welcomes the driver with an exceptional light display. The fibre-optic daytime running lamps first light up blue, then change colour via a smooth transition to bright white. The tail lights also feature LED technology and create a visual highlight at the rear while improving visibility. The brightness of the brake lights and turn indicators varies depending on the light conditions to avoid dazzling other road users.
Parking Pilot with PARKTRONIC – making light work of parking and manoeuvring
The Parking Pilot with PARKTRONIC makes locating a parking space, parking and manoeuvring out of a parking space easier. When activated, it automatically steers the vehicle into parking spaces, relieving the driver of the work of steering and braking. The Parking Pilot with PARKTRONIC is automatically active during forward travel at up to 35 km/h. If the vehicle speed is below 30 km/h, the system indicates that it has found a suitable parking space by displaying a “P” with a direction arrow in the multifunction display in the instrument cluster. As the default function, the system searches on the nearside of the vehicle, if the offside turn signal indicator is activated it will also search on the offside. When the driver engages reverse gear and confirms the suggested parking space, the Parking Pilot with PARKTRONIC automatically carries out the steering manoeuvre up to a speed of 10 km/h. The driver needs only to operate the accelerator and brake pedal, the parking procedure being completed after a maximum of seven manoeuvres. It is possible to intervene in the process at any time and correct the parking manoeuvre. The Parking Assist PARKTRONIC electronic parking aid monitors the front and rear areas while the vehicle is being manoeuvred and warns the driver if a risk of collision is detected. The system is active up to a speed of 18 km/h.
Ruby enjoyed being my passenger on the CLA
I’m not familiar with the functions but it’s always good to have more options and preferences
Rano says: I’ve always been a big fan of the Mercedes brand. I guess it runs in the family. Of course, my younger brother is into the brand more than I do. Recently, I test drove the Mercedes-Benz CLA for the weekend and there are many things that I want to highlight.
The first thing that I prioritize in any car is comfort and Mercedes never fails in that department. The engineers go an extra mile to make sure the driver and passengers are at comfort. I’m not used to the different buttons by the side which apparently does more to your seating preference. It’s so comforting that you would drive here and there without complaining that you’re tired of driving.
I drove to Kuala Belait and it was definitely a comfort ride even on the highway speed limit. I was more into the sport select mode to feel the difference from Eco mode. I’m not a fast driver but I have to remind myself to slow down on the highway because sometimes the ride was so comforting that I went the past the speed limit without realizing.
The other thing I appreciate is the Apple Car Play. So for those with Android and especially iPhone users, you will love this. You are able to sync your IOS from your phone and the screen display will integrate from your iPhone. Best part is using Siri with Apple Car Play. You can make calls with voice command. You can even use for navigation and such. So if you are itching to play with your phone while driving (not advisable and dangerous), the next best thing is the Apple Car Play and Siri will be your best friend while driving the CLA.
All in all, a comfort drive with a strong branding presence. If you’re interested to test drive and check it out for yourself, you can contact Jati Transport Sdn Bhd. I’m more of a C-Class person, mind you.
So what can you expect from the Mercedes-Benz Driving Event in Sepang, Malaysia, this year?
You will spend a whole day training and learning about the fundamentals of improved driving safety and driving enjoyment. So that confidently regaining control after a tail skid or precise steering manoeuvers at different speed levels become a matter of routine.
You also learn on having maximum concentration, fast reactions and focused precision. Experience the sporty side of driver training on this intensive training course for beginners on the race track. The handling course is available for a warm-up. Then you get closer to the perfect racing line lap by lap and find the optimum braking points. As you gain in experience, you get to know the sections of the track and the speeds at which the vehicle oversteers or understeers. Followed by a race in which you can demonstrate just how much you have learned. The perfect combination of enduring experience and memorable moments.
Mercedes-Benz Driving Event in Sepang, Malaysia back in May 2017
Mercedes-Benz Driving Event in Sepang, Malaysia back in May 2017
Mercedes-Benz Driving Event in Sepang, Malaysia back in May 2017
Mercedes-Benz Driving Event in Sepang, Malaysia back in May 2017
Exclusive interior: the G-Class, reinterpreted for today
It is an off-road legend and the ultimate benchmark for so many fans of cross-country driving: the G-Class. Since 1979 more than 300,000 examples of it have allowed their owners to experience adventures that would have been unachievable with any other vehicle. Outwardly, the “G” has changed very little. But in fact this very special off-roader has constantly reinvented itself. With its completely updated interior and numerous new features, the G-Class has now undergone the most significant transformation of its almost 40-year career, in technical as well as stylistic terms – while still managing to stay true to itself.
Iconic elements continue to serve very specific purposes, now as then, and to give the G-Class its unique appearance. All these are still to be found in the new G-Class: the distinctive door handle and the characteristic closing sound, the robust exterior protective strip, the exposed spare wheel on the rear door and the prominent indicator lights. It is extraordinary features like these that combine with the off-roader’s angular lines to define its special look.
Interior: as luxurious as it is authentic
That this is a contemporary interpretation of a legend is also evident, for example, from the car’s clear, geometric lines: climbing aboard the G-Class reveals styling elements from the exterior transposed into the interior. The shape of the round headlamps, for instance, which is reflected in the air vents on either side. Or the design of the iconic indicators, found again in the shape of the loudspeakers.
Hallmarks of the G-Class include the grab handle in front of the front passenger and the chrome-highlighted switches for the differential locks, positioned in clear view. Both have been meticulously optimised and retained as characteristic features.
G-Class drivers are able to control the full infotainment system without taking their hands off the steering wheel. The touch-sensitive Touch Controls on the steering wheel respond to swiping motions in the same way as the surface of a smartphone. Thanks to haptic impulses and additional feedback from the onboard speakers, the driver can use the touchpad without looking away from the road. The input options are rounded off by shortcut keys in front of the Controller for frequently accessed operating tasks, and by the optional control array for the driving assistance systems above the rotary light switch. The driver sits up close to the windscreen and enjoys good all-round visibility from behind the wheel.
The very clearly laid-out and completely redesigned instrument panel features timeless tube-look analogue dials as standard. In other words, fans of classic round instruments will certainly not be disappointed in the new G-Class. As in the new E and S-Class, an alternative instrument panel in the form of a large display screen showing virtual instruments in the driver’s direct field of vision and a central display above the centre console is available as an option. Two 12.3-inch displays blend visually into a wide-screen cockpit beneath a shared glass cover. Drivers can choose between three different styles for the displays – “Classic”, “Sport” and “Progressive” – and also configure relevant information and views according to their individual needs.
High-quality materials and added comfort
With its unmistakable character and high-quality appointments, the G-Class has always managed to combine off-road capability and luxury in a particularly harmonious way. Even in its standard specification, the G-Class’s timeless and authentic open-pore wood trim gives it an air of classical elegance. Its stylish details include the generous use of high-quality metal or carbon fibre trim, and its leather seats.
“Every G-Class must be put to the test on the Schöckl.” And this was the motto that headed the list of requirement specifications when it came to redesigning this classic among off-roaders. It refers to the Graz plant’s local mountain, used by Mercedes-Benz for its hard – and some say even merciless – testing, and which each off-roader must be able to conquer. Which is why every “G” bears a certification mark in the form of a “Schöckl” badge at the base of its B-pillar.
The doors are very solid, clear evidence of that hallmark “G” functionality. The stowage space concept has been thoroughly overhauled, with numerous new storage areas ensuring that everything has a home. Under the armrest, for example, is an illuminated compartment for small items such as chewing gum, handkerchiefs or perhaps sunglasses. A wireless charging point here can be specified as an optional extra. In front of the touchpad in the centre console are two removable cup holders and an oddments tray. The rear doors are each capable of accommodating a 1-litre water bottle. The rear bench seat has a freestanding backrest, so allowing maximum variability and better visibility through the rear side windows.
The standard audio system features seven loudspeakers. The Burmester® surround sound system with 16 speakers and a 590 watt amplifier with Digital Sound Processing is available as optional equipment.
The revised dimensions of the now larger G-Class do not only benefit the driver, but also the passengers in the second row.
The rear seats can be folded down to 60, 40 or 100 percent. The seats in the G-Class are equipped as standard with numerous convenience functions such as the Memory function for the driver’s seat, seat heating front and rear, and luxury head restraints in the front. Such ride comfort can be enhanced still further if so required with the Active Multicontour Seat package. As well as the special multicontour seats, this encompasses such features as a range of massage functions, climatised seats and fast seat heating. This variant also offers electrically adjustable lumbar supports for the driver and front passenger. The side sections of the seat cushions and backrests of the active multicontour seats include integrated air chambers that fill or empty on a continuous basis according to the driving dynamics, so providing better support for the seating positions of driver and front passenger and, for example, offering more lateral support during cornering. The front seats of the Active Multicontour Seat package are recommended by experts from the German spinal health organisation “Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V.”.
Extras for the G-Class: two exclusive equipment packages
There are so many variants for the new G-Class that it is extremely rare for any two cars to be exactly alike. This wide range of equipment options is made possible by the fact that features from the designo manufaktur range have already been integrated into the standard equipment variants.
Passengers are accommodated as standard on seats in Lugano leather in black, nut brown or macchiato beige. There is furthermore a choice of two top-class equipment packages: Exclusive Interior and Exclusive Interior Plus. The Exclusive Interior is available in a range of seven colours. Three of these are elegant combinations of nappa leather in black and one of the designo manufaktur colours platinum white, yacht blue or classic red. The package also includes a black designo roof liner in DINAMICA microfibre, along with air vents in silvershadow. The Exclusive Interior Plus comprises additional elements in nappa leather such as the door trim, sections of the centre console, the instrument panel and all the upholstery. A particular feature here is the seat design with dynamic diamond-pattern quilting. With this package, customers have a choice between the designo shades of black, espresso brown and classic red. For the first time it is also possible to order a light-coloured interior throughout, in macchiato beige – encompassing everything from the flooring to the roof liner.
The sporty AMG Line can be combined with all three variants. In this case, black seats are combined with contrasting topstitching in red for the seats, instrument panel, doors and centre console, along with red seat belts. It is a look that goes well with the very sporty steering wheel with flattened bottom section, now also available for the first time for the G-Class.
Stuttgart. After the success of the illuminated Mercedes star in the grill, the Mercedes-Benz original-parts program now offers an additional customization option based on modern LED technology: LED Projector AMG Emblem. When opening the driver’s and passenger doors, the AMG emblem is projected into the entry area in 3D with the help of the entrance lighting mechanism at the bottom of the door. The LED Projector AMG Emblem is now available at Mercedes-Benz sales partners for numerous vehicle models from A-Class to GLS.
The AMG emblem shows the cornerstones of the high performance brand, Mercedes-AMG: an apple tree on the river symbolizes the location in Affalterbach, Germany. The cam, valve and valve spring symbolizes the engine manufacturing. With the new AMG emblem projector, the emblem can now be projected into the entrance area next to the vehicle in a high-tech 3D look. Thus, making the ingress into a Mercedes-AMG an impressive experience.
Mercedes-Benz partners can assemble the AMG emblem LED projector in just a matter of minutes: just simply replace the factory-installed entrance lighting at the bottom of the front doors. The new projector uses state-of-the-art LED technology, consumes little power and has a long service life. Moreover, it fulfils the high quality requirements that Mercedes-Benz places on all its original parts and accessories. This new individualization option is available from the A-Class to the GLS in combination with the corresponding door lighting packages.
The AMG emblem LED projector is not only for Mercedes-AMG enthusiasts, but there is an LED projector for Mercedes-Benz drivers as well. In this case, the Mercedes star, possibly the world’s best-known trademark, is projected into the entry area when the front doors are open.
The Illuminated Mercedes Star available for many lines from the original-parts program is also a real eye-catcher. The outline of the Mercedes star centred in the radiator grille illuminates by means of the light conductors as well as LED technology, and thus adds a special look to many Mercedes-Benz models.
Appreciation Day at Mercedes-Benz Autohaus Showroom yesterday
Ho Ley Hoon, Sales Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd, Alfred So, General Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd , Kenny Ng, General Manager of Emerging Markets, Daimler South East Asia and Andrew Chiam, Executive Director of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd
Yesterday was a great day for the public as they enjoyed the festivities during Customer Appreciation Day hosted by Jati Transport, the authorised auto dealer for Mercedes-Benz and it was held for the first time at Mercedes-Benz Autohaus Showroom. Hundreds of customers came with their family to enjoy the food and the entertainment provided by Jati Transport Sdn Bhd.
Present during the Customer Appreciation Day were Andrew Chiam, Executive Director of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd, Alfred So, General Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd and Kenny Ng, General Manager of Emerging Markets, Daimler South East Asia.
The customers enjoyed the activities provided such as face painting for their children, lego games, photo booth and not forgetting the discounts on their merchandise items.
This event is to appreciate the loyal customers of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd and continue the strong relations with the company and their customers.
Mercedes-Benz Autohaus Showroom was opened mid year to the delight of Mercedes-Benz customers. They have a much bigger showroom as well as service centre to service all the Mercedes-Benz cars in Brunei Darussalam. Hence, Jati Transport has two authorized workshop, one at the main headquarters and the other at the Autohaus Showroom. According to Stephen Reid, Service Manager at Jati Transport, their service centre does around 800 Mercerdes-Benz car per month. Now that’s a lot of servicing and they have around 22 certified technicians and electrician to help with the servicing of their customers’ cars.
Food was the main attraction yesterday. I love the satay 😀
What a young talented girl! She had a big cheer from the crowd after her performance.
The service centre of Mercedes-Benz Autohaus and this is where most of the simple servicing are carried out
Did you know Mr. Softy van is a Mercedes-Benz? 😀
Now this is a beast because of the striking black colour of the newly launched GLC 200. Apparently this already belongs to someone else.
Face painting was popular as well
Lots of families showed up for the packed event
Boba Tea drinks were sold out by noon, distributing out 500 cups in total. Amazing!
The photo booth section
The access point was narrow but it didn’t stop customers flocking in for the Customer Appreciation Day
Customers also had the opportunity to see the newly launched Mercedes-Benz GLC 200, a variant addition to the premium SUV segment in Brunei Darussalam. I had a first look and a bit of a test drive at it a few months ago back in Kota Kinabalu during a short trip hosted by Jati Transport.
I knew it will be a big hit in Brunei because of customers can enjoy the high-end features on a premium SUV at a competitive price. The GLC 250 was already a big hit when it was introduced in Brunei a few months ago.
The GLC 200 is additionally powered by a 2.0 litre four inline engine, producing an output of 135 kW (184 hp) and 300 Nm of torque. It also comes with a standard nine-stage 9G-tronic automatic transmission. The units are already being booked as we speak, leaving only a few units left.
Mercedes-Benz in Brunei Darussalam have been a popular choice despite the economic downturn. As customers now looking for more value added in a premium brand, Mercedes-Benz does deliver and that’s one of the main reason why Jati Transport have been doing moderately well in the car industry.
Do visit Jati Transport showroom or call 244 1763 or 244 1777 for more information.
YESSSS, the Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 is already in town 😀
I had a pleasure of driving the GLC 200 in Kota Kinabalu back in August
It’s definitely a good ride.
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