When Mercedes-Benz Cars’ marketing and sales chief Ola Källenius wants to chide an underperforming region somewhere around the globe, he points to the Australian operation as something to aspire to.
Swedish-born Källenius, 46, who also serves as a board member for Daimler AG and has been rumoured as the replacement for current Daimler AG chairman Dieter Zetsche from 2019, spoke glowingly this week on the Australian region.
Mercedes-Benz is clearly the top-selling luxury brand in our market, and the 11th top-selling brand overall, ahead of the likes of Kia. At times in the recent past, it has snuck into the top ten, ahead of Honda.
“When I want to put pressure on any one of the presidents of our sales companies around world to sell better, I say ‘look what the guys are doing in Australia’,” he said.
“Australia is a Mercedes market, and also has the highest share of AMGs anywhere.”
Mercedes-Benz Australia sold 4000 AMGs alone in 2015, the same as Peugeot. The company as a whole (including commercials) sold 36,374 units in Australia during 2015, up 14 per cent. BMW did 25,022, Audi sold 23,088 and Lexus managed 8691.
It has been growing at double digits for years now. Its position as market leader locally is not in line with its global position.
It is partly because of this success that Mercedes-Benz will open one of its new Mercedes me stores in Melbourne in 2017, joining cities such as Hamburg, Milan, Hong Kong and Tokyo. The Mercedes me stores are cafe/meeting spaces with Mercedes-Benz themes.