Mercedes-Benz to offer 2 new all-electrics and a new app

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Mercedes-Benz to offer 2 new all-electrics and a new app

Thomas Klein, new president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Korea, introduces the carmaker's plan for 2021. [MERCEDES-BENZ KOREA]

Thomas Klein, new president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Korea, introduces the carmaker's plan for 2021. [MERCEDES-BENZ KOREA]

 
Mercedes-Benz Korea will introduce two all-electric vehicles (EV) this year and start a membership mobile app for local customers, making Korea the first country targeted for the feature.  
 
In a press conference Wednesday, the German carmaker shared plans to roll out nine new models this year — seven full change and two facelift models. The lineup includes a seventh-generation S-Class sedan, Mercedes-Maybach’s first sports-utility vehicle and two all-electric vehicles EQA and EQS.  
 
EQA and EQS would bring the number of Mercedes-Benz’s all-electric models sold in Korea to three, adding to the EQC which was brought to market in late 2019.  
 
Thomas Klein, the new president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Korea, spoke online with local reporters on Wednesday. Having started his job on Jan. 1, Klein would be heading Mercedes-Benz’s business in Korea, which was the fifth-largest market for the German carmaker last year.  
 
Mercedes-Benz Korea sold a total of 76,879 vehicles in the local market last year, earning the crown as top automobile importer in the country for five years straight.  
 
“I’m very excited to be joining Mercedes-Benz Korea. Yes, we've had very good growth in Korea over the past few years and we are very humbled by that,” he said.  
 
“The aim is to provide the best customer experience because we believe delighting customers will raise meaningful results. We’d love to give back to the community and continue to be a good corporate citizen — that is part of our strategy.”
 
In terms of customer service, Mercedes-Benz Korea’s focus this year will be on expanding infrastructure for EV customers and strengthening the digital experience.  
 
Service centers for its EQ EVs will be expanded nationwide this year. The facility includes chargers and staff that can offer technology support and advice on the brand’s EVs. More investments will go in to increase the number of EV chargers in the country.  
 
Among car importers in the country, Mercedes-Benz Korea runs among the largest network of customer touch points: 71 service centers and 59 showrooms. The company will open the AMG Brand Center, where visitors can familiarize themselves with the company’s high-performance brand. It is the first in Korea and the seventh in the world.  
 
In the digital services, Mercedes-Benz will offer the “Mercedes Me Care” mobile app for the first time in Korea. In partnership with more than 50 companies, the membership app will enable Mercedes-Benz customers to reserve services like car washing and drivers as well as for booking restaurants and golf clubs.  
 
Adding to the Digital Service Drive, which enabled customers to reserve maintenance services and receive basic advice, the carmaker said Wednesday that it would introduce an online sales platform where potential customers can have a virtual experience of the vehicles instead of walking into showrooms and make purchases decisions. The Digital Service Drive app will be also upgraded to have a payment function within the first half of 2020, the company added.  
 
When asked the effects of digitization on dealerships, Klein said the dealers will be a core part of change.
 
The digital platform “is essentially about offering a seamless experience online and offline, and dealers should play a role,” he said. “We’ve seen in other countries that this can be done. In Germany, you can order a car online and have it delivered via truck with the help of dealers.”
 
BY SONG KYOUNG-SON   [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]
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