Mercedes-Benz Chinese executives try to convince the automaker’s German leaders to make global debut of the redesigned S class in China in 2013.
“There is no doubt that the Chinese market will be key to the sales of this product; therefore we have a strong case to make for it to debut in China,” said Klaus Maier, CEO of Mercedes-Benz (China).
Maier also announced last week at an auto show in China that Mercedes plans to introduce five new models in the country by the end of the year and that the automaker is aiming at expanding its dealership network from the current 217 to 260. Currently Mercedes sells in China the A, B, C, E, G, GL, M, R, S and SL class models, the CLS, GLK, SLK, SLS and Viano. From these only the C, E and GLK are manufactured in China by the automaker’s joint venture with Beijing Automotive Industry Holding. From January to July Mercedes sold 111,073 units in China, an increase of 1% over the same period last year.
As automaker are aware of the growing demand for small cars in China, so is the competition mong them. Audi plans to create a sedan version of the A3 to compete with Mercedes’ CLA compact four-door coupe presented in April at the Beijing auto show.