Mercedes-Benz is hoping to regain the leading position in the Thai luxury car market from arch rival BMW in 2022, banking on fresh new models including the all-new C-Class and the EQS electric car scheduled for launch later this year.
This year, the Stuttgart-based manufacturer also plans to assemble its first electric vehicle in Thailand, with domestic battery module assembly facility, said Roland Folger, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz (Thailand) Ltd.
“In addition to a number of marketing campaigns we introduced throughout the year, we also launched new models including the GLS and new S-Class which have been very well received,” he said. “And by the end of the year, we will announce the official launch of the new EQS which will be our first all-electric model that we will locally assemble and market this year, making it a starting point for a new electric era for Mercedes-Benz Thailand.”
The Mercedes-EQ EQS will be assembled at the Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant in Samut Prakarn during the last quarter of this year.
Mercedes-Benz officials speaking at its annual press conference did not provide Thailand sales figures for 2021, but said total sales grew by 13 per cent while the luxury car market declined by nine per cent.
“According to public figures from the Land Transport Department, a total of 9,817 Mercedes-Benz vehicles were registered in Thailand last year, compared to 9,982 vehicles for BMW,” Bjoern Gastrau, vice president of sales and marketing, said.
“Our compact models saw a 113-per cent growth year-on-year thanks to the launch of the new A-Class and GLA, while our plug-in hybrid models saw significant growth of 14 per cent,” he added.
Gastrau said the company will launch new models from all four brands – Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-EQ, Mercedes-Maybach and Mercedes-AMG. He said there is high interest for the EQS, with more than 500 digital leads being collected at the Motor Expo in December as well as two other Mercedes public events.
Meanwhile, financing arm Mercedes-Benz Leasing (Thailand) Co Ltd has also done well in 2021, said managing director Supavut Jiramanusnakorn.
“In 2021 Mercedes-Benz Leasing Thailand has achieved 50 per cent market share in the Mercedes-Benz auto loan business, and our acquisition volume has increased by 12 per cent,” he said.
In Q4 alone, business grew by 41 per cent, bringing the total portfolio to Bt42 billion, he added.