Benz Unifies Sales Channels in China
BEIJING, Dec 18, 2012 (Menafn - SinoCast Daily Business Beat via COMTEX) --Daimler AG December 17 announced that it and the strategic partner BAIC Group set up a 50-50 joint venture Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales Service Co., responsible for the suture sales of all Mercedes-Benz products in China.
China plans a core role in the 2020 growth strategy of Mercedes-Benz, stressed Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler. The venture's functions will include sales, marketing, after-sales, expansion of the sales networks, sales of second-hand products, sale in large amounts, and training of Mercedes-Benz dealers.
As a matter of fact, BAIC Group, one of China's state-run auto groups, signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement with Daimler in Berlin, Germany on June 28, 2011. Both sides agreed to deepen cooperation and integrate resources in the sales business in China.
For the moment, Beijing Benz and Benz China are selling Benz cars in China. However, the two channels have formed their own sales systems. As a result, models sold by them have been confronted with a fierce internal competition for long, which has blocked the rapid growth of Benz in China.
As an important step towards integration, in the middle of 2012, Daimler raised its stake in Benz China from 51 to 75 percent. Benz China announced that it would hold a sales expansion activity in 2015, named "China Sales Initiative 2015".
In the three years ahead, Benz China will release 20 new and upgraded models in China, including some Benz B- and M-class products.
Moreover, Benz will greatly expand its sales network in the country. In about 100 Chinese cities, the number of sealers will be driven up to 220. In the future, 50 more dealers will be absorbed annually be the sales network.
Benz aims to lift its annual sales in China to 300,000 vehicles in 2015, including 70 percent made in the country. In contrast, its 2011 sales in the country amounted to 223,000 ones.
The unified sales system is believed to help Benz catch up in China with Audi and BMW, another two German luxurious carmakers.
In November 2012, Audi sold 37,600 cars in China, including Hong Kong and marking a growth of 25.9 percent form 29,861 ones a year earlier. In the first 11 months of this year, its sales in the Chinese market totaled 370,559 vehicles, jumping by 30.7 percent from 283,600 ones in the same period of last year.
BMW sold 29,000 cars in November in the Chinese mainland and 275,000 ones in the first 11 months of 2012, separately soaring by 62.0 percent and nearly 33 percent year on year.
Benz, however, sold only 16,876 vehicles in November in the Chinese market, slipping by 6.6 percent from 18,067 ones a year earlier. Its January-to-November sales amounted to 177,301 ones in the country, climbing up by 4.2 percent from 170,112 ones in the corresponding period of the previous year.
(USD 1 = CNY 6.23)
Source: www.163.com (December 18, 2012)
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