Mercedes-Benz Australia says it doesn’t necessarily aim to be the number-one seller in the luxury segment, and it expects competitors to launch a product offensive in the near future that will potentially change the landscape.
The company's manager of public relations and product in Australia, Jerry Stamoulis, says that while the German brand is currently dominating the luxury segment – and sees no signs of slowing down — the consistent launch of new products will eventually die down, allowing competitors to catch up.
“It’s very difficult to predict what is going to happen over the next few years,” Stamoulis told CarAdvice at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix last week.
“We’ve gone through a massive product offensive and that will start to taper off, and then you’ll see the other brands with their own product offensive to counteract what we’ve done.”
Even so, the sales gap from Mercedes-Benz to its competitors in Australia was its biggest on record in 2015.
“What will happen is you always have hot models, right now it’s GLC, C-Class, we are about to launch C-Class coupe and E-Class, you will start to see that as model life of cars starts to drop off, a new model will come in - that’s why we don’t go out there saying we must be number one in the market.
"It’s always nice [though]. The gap was the biggest last year, one of the biggest in the world between the brands.”
Mercedes-Benz Australia as a whole sold 36,375 cars in 2015, compared to 25,022 for BMW and 23,088 for Audi, though the latter pair don’t do commercial vehicles (Mercedes still sold more SUVs and passenger cars than either).
But the launch of the new Audi A4, the continuing success of the BMW X5 and even less prominent brands such as Land Rover with the big-selling Discovery Sport (which competes with the GLC) will no doubt affect Mercedes-Benz’s sales figures over the course of 2016.
Nonetheless, considering the 68 per cent sales gap between Mercedes-Benz and its closest competitor, BMW, the chances of one of the other German brands taking the number one mantle in the short to medium future remains somewhat unlikely.