‘Awesome’ is the word being used by Mercedes-Benz to describe various initiatives planned for the year ahead, all designed to expand ownership and sustain market growth.
On Monday afternoon, in the salubrious surroundings of Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry, Co.Wicklow, Mercedes-Benz Ireland presented a selection of their current range and placed out their intentions for the coming year.
Mercedes-Benz wants to be the top premium brand by 2020 and is on a major product offensive to that end with plans to introduce some 18 new models over the next 8 years.
In Ireland, part of the strategy to overtake BMW and Audi is an aggressive pricing and specification strategy that sees major models like the C-Class and E-Class look like great value against comparative models from the rival two brands. Mercedes-Benz is also pushing their AMG-line models and AMG packs with these being discounted to encourage buyers to opt for them.
Speaking at the event, Ciaran Allen, Sales Manager at Mercedes-Benz Ireland, said: “Our overarching commitment to maintain a competitive specifications/price position across our range, now and into 2018, is one that will be reflected in awesome cars with awesome specifications at awesome prices.”
The sales figures show that Mercedes-Benz in Ireland has achieved a 36% average annual growth over the past four years. In 2017 with an overall 10% market decline, sales in Ireland for the brand are running 32% above the same period last year.
With C-Class and E-Class ranges, the aim is to achieve first place in their respective market segments, building on the 22% sales increase being achieved by C-Class and the 70% increase in sales of E-Class in 2017. Other models likely to benefit from discounting and increased specification are CLA and GLC, and top-of-the range models like the revised S-Class.
Also driving this new growth-led approach will be an expanding network of exclusive Mercedes-Benz dealerships. Coming on stream over the coming months will be two new Dublin City outlets – a remodelled MSL Ballsbridge and a completely new MSL Grange dealership at Pottery Road, Deansgrange.
In addition to the recently opened Connolly Mercedes-Benz dealership in Sligo town, two further outlets are in the pipeline – one in Galway city and a second in Wexford. There are also a number of dealerships currently undergoing a corporate identity makeover to provide what Ciaran Allen calls ‘a welcoming ambiance for buyers of new and pre-owned vehicles”.
The year ahead will also be about introducing customers to the ‘Connect Me’ system, with features like a ‘track and locator’ function – useful should the vehicle ever be stolen.
New ‘Mercedes-Benz Certified’ branding will also be introduced for used cars, the purpose to standardise current approaches and present a uniform, Europe-wide quality assurance message to used car customers.