Mercedes Benz to launch new models in RI
Monday, February 04, 2008
Aditya Suharmoko, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Amid predictions of sluggish car demand this year, PT Mercedes Benz Indonesia, a local unit of German auto giant Daimler AG, is set to launch five new models to help boost its sales.
"The company predicts the market for luxurious cars will grow by only 17 percent this year due to the high global oil prices and preparations for the 2009 general election," said Mercedes Benz deputy marketing director Yuniadi Hartono on Sunday.
"Therefore, we will launch five new models in different classes to compete in the market and help lift our share in the premium class," he added.
Higher global oil prices are set to raise costs related to transportation and raw materials containing fossil-based substances.
Analysts are concerned the 2009 election will discourage people from buying luxurious goods, including cars, because the once-in-a-five-year event often sends security jitters among the public.
Yuniadi said Mercedes Benz would launch the C 200 and the C 230 for its C Class series, the E 230 for its E Class series, the S 500 for its S Class series and the R 280 for its R Class series.
The C Class and E Class units will be assembled domestically at the Mercedes Benz factory in Wanaherang, Bogor, West Java. The company was previously known as PT DaimlerChrysler Indonesia.
Yuniadi said the market share for C Class was about 57 percent of the compact-size premium category last year, while the share for E Class was about 70 percent of the mid-size category.
The company's S Class secured 77 percent of the full-size premium category last year, he added.
Yuniadi said the total sales of premium cars in 2008 would reach around 4,000 units, with Mercedes Benz expecting to sell 2,400 vehicles this year, up 10.75 percent from 2007.
Last year, the company sold 2,167 units of premium cars, or 63.5 percent of the total market share of 3,415 units.
Its 2007 sales of premium cars increased by 73 percent, or 1,972 units, from 2006.
Mercedes Benz sold 865 units of its C Class series last year, a 145 percent rise from the previous year; 683 units of its E Class series, a 46 percent increase; and 222 units of its S Class series, a 118 percent increase.
In 2006, the company sold only 1,177 vehicles, comprising 355 units of C Class, 468 units of E Class and 102 units of S Class.
Last year, the country's total car sales were 434,449 units, or up by 36.2 percent from the previous year.
Mercedes Benz said last year it would raise production of its domestic plant to about 2,500 units in 2008.
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