Speaking to CarAdvice at the local launch of the new E-Class, the company’s managing director, Horst von Sanden, admitted that the waiting list is still substantial.
“Unfortunately the waiting list has not dramatically improved, we got a bit more allocation but at this stage some dealers have sold their allocation for this year already. Others are four months out.” von Sanden said.
Launched in February, the new A-Class has already managed to find more than a thousand buyers, beaten only by the more established and supply-ready B-Class in the luxury small car segment.
The impressive sales figures are not limited to Australia only, with global demand outstripping supply from the single factory in Germany.
“A-class has been a huge success for us, we did expect it would go well but it went better. We have limited production at the moment, we are selling every one we can get our hands on. There’s a worldwide demand on A class which is higher than supply.”
A new plant in Hungary is currently being built, which will see additional A-class production that should improve supply issues, though von Sanden was not certain if Australian cars would be supplied from there, but admitted that it would make no difference to quality.
“I don't know which cars come from which plant. I was never interested in that, remember when we had the C-class from South Africa? In the end quality audit showed it was not a problem. I personally don’t care which plant our cars come from, it doesn't have a negative impact.”
The ultimate hot-hatch, the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG, is also struggling with the supply and demand metric, with most dealers having sold out their allocation until at least next year.
Asked if AMG sales are still expected to double this year compared to last year, von Sanden noted that it depends on supply.
“If we can secure [A45 AMG] supply in line with demand, thats what we expect. It is obviously a terrific vehicle in a price range much bigger number of people can afford.”
So far this year Mercedes-Benz has sold more than 10,000 vehicles in Australia, easily outselling its German and Japanese rivals.