Despite the tumultuous 2020 due to the still-ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Mercedes-Benz has had a pretty good year all things considered, delivering over two million vehicles globally for the fifth year in a row. Locally, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) also had a pretty eventful year, with the digital launch of several new models including the new compact AMG trio, as well as the all-new GLB and GLA SUVs.
Looking forward to 2021, MBM confirmed that it will be localising more Mercedes-Benz compact cars and SUV models this year through its CKD local assembly operations Pekan, Pahang, both of which are sure to excite Malaysians with lower-priced offerings from the premium marque.
The company’s current locally-assembled range spans across five model lines – C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, GLC, and GLC coupe – with a total of 13 variants on offer, including two Mercedes-AMG models, the C 43 and GLC 43 Coupe.
Other models that fall into the same category could also include the recently-unveiled Mercedes-Benz GLA, as well as the seven-seater GLB compact SUV – though the latter probably stand less of a chance, given its relatively higher price-point and narrower market appeal.
Given that the 35-series Mercedes-AMG models share the same M260 base engine as the 250 models for the brand’s compact vehicles, there’s a possibility that we might even see the Mercedes-AMG A 35 and GLA 35 (or even the GLB 35 if the base model is being locally assembled!) making its way to the Malaysia market as CKD models. Enthusiasts rejoice!
As for the larger SUVs, we’d wager our bets on the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLE, which was introduced here in Malaysia back in 2019 in a sole GLE 450 flavour.
The localisation of the Mercedes-Benz GLE could lower the price-of-entry for the D-segment SUV with the introduction of new variants, and also opens the opportunity for a new hybrid variant to go up against the BMW X5 xDrive45e M Sport hybrid, which retails for RM441k (with sales tax exemptions), which is quite a bit lower than the RM585k commanded by the GLE 450.
In its annual round-up for 2020, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia also announced that its financing arm, Mercedes-Benz Service Malaysia (MBSM), financed more than 50% of all Mercedes-Benz vehicles sold by authorised dealers in Malaysia. Its servicing portfolio reached a total of RM2.27 billion, while recording new contracts worth RM717 million in the last year.
The company also unveiled newly-renovated dealerships in Alor Setar (Cycle & Carriage) and Kuala Lumpur (Hap Seng Star), featuring the “first of its kind” Mercedes-Benz Lifestyle Accessories and Collection Boutique.
Despite most Malaysians staying home for a large chunk of 2020, MBM Service Centres across Malaysia still saw a throughput of over 140,000 vehicles last year, supported by the company’s various offerings and digitalised services, including extended service and warranty grace period, Drop&Go, Door-to-Door, Star Mobile, and the implementation of Mercedes-Benz Star Shield Programme, covering comprehensive health and safety SOPs during this pandemic across dealerships nationwide.
2021 is set to be an interesting year for Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us. What other cars would you like to see being brought into Malaysia as a locally-assembled model? Let us know in the comments section below!