Legacy, Quality, Technology Champion the Premium SegmentThu, 11/22/2018 - 13:50
Q: What are the most important milestones that Mercedes-Benz has reached since its arrival in 1993?
A: We celebrated our 25th anniversary in 2018. We went from selling around 300 vehicles per year two decades ago to more than 20,000 units in 2018. Moreover, we were recognized by JD Power as the luxury brand with the highest customer satisfaction levels. We maintain our position as the sales leader in both the premium and high-performance vehicle segments, which shows the confidence that customers have in the Mercedes-Benz brand and its lineup.
Our strategy has focused on diversifying our lineup. Two decades ago, Mercedes-Benz only marketed three or four models in Mexico but we have evolved to offer more options to attack more segments. This strategy includes releasing smaller cars and SUVs, new versions of traditional models and even a four-door high-performance car named Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe that reached the market in 1Q19.
Q: What is Mercedes-Benz’s strategy to remain the sales champion of Mexico’s premium segment?
A: For the last 133 years, Mercedes-Benz has maintained and upheld its values of innovation, quality and service. Rather than just manufacturing nice and expensive cars, Mercedes-Benz strives to deliver advanced technology packages and a promise to support clients in any issue they may have. We see the Mercedes-Benz brand as a promise and our dealership network plays a key role in keeping that promise. Along with its dealership partners, Mercedes-Benz is constantly looking for areas of opportunity to improve and cover regions with potential customers. We also plan to improve our aftersales service, which we see as key to maintaining and growing our relationships with clients.
Q: How will Mercedes-Benz’s segment diversification strategy help in maintaining your market position?
A: Having a wide and varied lineup allows us to harness growth opportunities in smaller and less-expensive segments while maintaining the features that distinguish Mercedes-Benz as a brand. In 2019, we plan to launch new versions of CLA and GLC, as well as EQC in the first months of 2020. We want to remain the sales leader in Mexico’s premium segment, but we also understand that the introduction of new cars requires an adjustment period that could see sales drop for a while, but they will recover afterward.
Q: What is Mercedes-Benz’s strategy to adopt the most innovative technologies in the market?
A: Mercedes-Benz and Daimler constantly invest in engineering new technological solutions for their vehicles. We have innovation and engineering centers in Germany, Spain, the US and Israel, all with the same focus on cars and mobility. For instance, Mercedes-Benz’s Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Services, Electric (CASE) initiative tracks industry trends including vehicle electrification, self-driving technologies and collective-ownership schemes in which drivers can rent a car for a few hours or co-own it with several people.
Q: What role will the car of the future play in Mercedes-Benz’s lineup in the short term?
A: Electrified cars will play an increasingly important role in Mercedes-Benz’s global product portfolio. While we believe there will always be a place for combustion engines in our lineup, EVs will have greater presence as electrification becomes more relevant. In Mexico, Mercedes-Benz has launched some mild-hybrid and hybrid vehicles and plans to launch fully-electric cars by 2020. There have also been talks about Mercedes-Benz’s EQ family, which will finally reach Mexico in 2020 as they move from the conceptual to the production phase.
Self-driving cars are a more complicated matter but Mercedes-Benz has already taken some steps in that direction. We are working to increase the level of autonomy of our vehicles by adding automatic emergency brakes, automatic lane correction and similar automated driving features. For these technologies to advance, regulations on self-driving cars are needed. This is particularly important for cases when there is an accident and a jury must determine fault.
Q: How have millennials reacted to the new connectivity features in Mercedes-Benz cars?
A: As digital natives, the millennial generation grew up with connectivity, so they demand that in Mercedes-Benz cars. Fortunately, our innovations in this area have been well-received among younger generations. In July 2019, we will launch a new connectivity tool called Mercedes me that will allow drivers to control their cars remotely and even talk to them. Users for instance, will be able to use their smartphones to start their cars, turn on the air conditioning, control windows and even choose between 64 mood-lighting colors, among other functions.
Mercedes-Benz produces and sells premium vehicles and is the company behind the first automobile. Founded in 1886 in Germany, it is a division of the automotive group Daimler AG