Mercedes-Benz eyes positive progress in ChinaUpdated: 2013-09-02 07:35
It's Nicholas Speeks' first Chengdu Motor Show since he became president and CEO of Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales Service Co Ltd.
Speeks has dedicated himself to further improving the German automaker's business in China, and he has introduced a lot of initiatives to ensure the brand's long-term development in China.
Speeks talked to China Daily reporter Li Fangfang about some of the changes and the vision for the newly integrated sales company.
China's luxury car segment has experienced challenges this year with shrinking market demand. How's Mercedes-Benz doing in its third-largest market?
We are well on track. Since we established the newly integrated BMBS in March, we've managed to grow Mercedes-Benz sales in the past five months.
We have seen a relatively good July, and August sales will surpass the figure last year.
I am confident we will see growth in China this year.
We have seen a positive trend in sales although we still face a lot challenges in the market and have a lot of things to do.
We are aggressively launching new products, including the new E-Class and latest C-Class Grand Edition today, and the new S-Class coming later this year.
And our plan of having more than 75 new dealers this year is also moving forward.
We are developing step by step, making sure our features are attractive and our cars competitive; that our customers here have good products and are satisfied with our service.
These are all for the long-term development of Mercedes-Benz in China.
How do you value the importance of the market in western China, led by Chengdu, to Mercedes-Benz's long-term development in the country?
There is certainly big potential for Mercedes-Benz in the west.
And amazingly, Chengdu, "the happiest city in China", is also the fastest growing economy in the world.
That's why we established our regional office for the west of China in Chengdu last year, and opened a training center, the largest outside Germany, in Chengdu in March.
Moreover, we have already set up seven outlets in Chengdu and 10 new dealerships will be opened in the western region this year.
When will Mercedes-Benz launch the new S-Class in China, and what are your sales expectations for the new model?
The new S-Class will be launched in China early in the fourth quarter, and we're confident that Chinese consumers will love the latest generation of the best car in the world.
China is crucial for the future of the S-Class, as it is the largest market in the world for the model.
That's why the new S-Class is the most important Mercedes-Benz model to take the preferences and tastes of Chinese consumers into account during the development stage.
For the first time, the long wheelbase S-Class serves as the basis for the development of the entire model line.
This is a clear demonstration of the importance we attach to the China market and the specific needs of its consumers.