Mercedes adds models for local production
German luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz (Thailand) has added two more models for assembly here and shaved 250,000 to 350,000 baht off their retail prices to make them more competitive in the domestic market.
Martin Schulz, vice-president for sales and marketing, named the models as the GLA and CLA.
Categorised as New-Generation Compact Cars (NGCCs), they are now being assembled as completely knocked-down (CKD) vehicles at Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Co in Samut Prakan province.
Mercedes-Benzes are available in Thailand in three categories — NGCCs, Contemporary Luxury Cars (CLCs) and Dream Cars.
Until now, the NGCC category has been imported from Germany.
Both the GLA and the CLA have been among the best-selling models in recent years, ever since their introduction here in completely built-up form.
For the CLC category, the Thai facility makes the C-Class, E-Class, S-Class and ML models along with environmentally friendly hybrids.
The environmentally friendly hybrid models account for 40% of the company's local sales.
In a related development, Mercedes-Benz yesterday officially launched the locally made GLA priced at 2.09 to 2.44 million baht and the CLA at 2.14 to 2.49 million.
"Due to declining retail prices versus imported models, Mercedes-Benz can add bigger engines, new technology and upgraded specifications in its NGCC vehicles," Mr Schulz said.
"The CKD units will broaden alternatives for the key target group — young customers who wish to own a Mercedes-Benz vehicle at a sensible price."
He said Mercedes-Benz's NGCCs had enjoyed great success in the Thai market for many years, representing 25% of annual sales locally.