Mercedes-Benz Hungaria LLC and EvoBus Hungaria LLC have continued their successful performances on the fields of domestic new passenger car, light commercial vehicle, heavy-duty commercial vehicle, bus sales and connected services. The local distributor of the vehicles manufactured by the Brand with a Star continued the model offensive in accordance with Daimler AG’s previously announced strategy and dedicated prominent attention to the highest possible level of customer service and the development of customer experience. 2013 was a crucial year for the passenger car business unit because of the launch of the CLA, manufactured exclusively in Kecskemét, the E-Class, that received the largest facelift in Daimler’s history and the S-Class, that aspired to be the best automobile of the world. Customers received the new models very positively: the Hungarian wholesale distributor marketed a total 1587 Mercedes-Benz passenger cars which is a 28.6% increase compared to 2012. Compact class vehicles remained popular, including those manufactured in Kecskemét (a total 400 sold units) and the M-Class was also favored by customers.
Customer satisfaction in focus
The aim of the current model offensive of Mercedes-Benz is to make the brand more attractive for a younger target audience but it is still highly important to retain customers for the long-term. In order to achieve this, Mercedes-Benz has decided to put the customer into focus beginning from the pre-order consultancy up until the quality after sales and service offers.
The success of the global initiative’s domestic adaptation was confirmed by ClientFirst Consulting LLC’s ‘Excellent in Customer Service” Awards where Mercedes-Benz Hungaria LLC received two first places in the small and medium size company segment for its high level of personal and phone customer services while achieved a third place in the electronic customer services category.
To extend the customer experience, Mercedes-Benz has appeared in unusual locations like the festivals of the Sziget portfolio, and by the visit of the DTM race series at the Hungaroring, the brand will show its sporty side again. Besides these, the conventional sales channels, including the retail network is under constant development, this way the current and future customers can get closer to the continuously launched new models. Retail partners of the local distributor have opened new showrooms in Solymár, Sopron, Zalaegerszeg and the Veszprém dealership has also got upgraded.
Significant growth is experienced in the field of used car sales during 2013. Within the framework of Jahreswagen.com quality used car program, 250 units of certified used passenger cars were marketed with warranty by Mercedes-Benz Hungaria LLC’s partners which accounts to almost 50% of an increase. This year, the offers got extended with Jahreswagen+ vehicles that come with 3 years of warranty. The dealerships are featuring more than 100 certified used cars at any given moment, the list of available cars can be found on the www.jahreswagen.hu website as well.
Increasing demand for Original Parts & Accessories
Turnover of the Mercedes-Benz Original Parts & Accessories increased by 8.1% in 2013. This year, Mercedes-Benz Original Oils will be launched on the market as well. By doing this, the Hungarian distributor would like to contribute to the legalization of the oil market and the smothering of the low quality counterfeit that is supplied in packaging that is very similar to the original products. Mercedes-Benz Original Oils provide far-reaching protection beyond the outstanding price/value ratio as the products are being delivered through the closed-circuit involving only the manufacturer, the wholesale distributor and the authorized service, just like in case of Mercedes-Benz Original Parts and Accessories which enable the vehicle operators and owners to enjoy complete guarantee. To support the increase of confidence towards the authorized service stations, Mercedes-Benz Hungaria will provide opportunity to the vehicle owners to be present at selected stages of the maintenance within the framework of the Transparent Service program. Besides this, János Császár, Head of the Aftersales Division will hold open office hours and takes care of customer enquiries sent to firstname.lastname@example.org personally as a part of the ‘Service Expert Answers’ initiative.
The Integrated Service Package that was launched on the 1st of February 2012 is still successful. The package provides free maintenance and warranty for 4 years or 120.000 km mileage for every Mercedes-Benz passenger cars as standard, including the new V-Class that is set to be launched in 2014. The warranty module of the service can be extended by a one-time fee until 6 years or 200.000 km mileage. Since last year, the warranty module of the Integrated Service Package has been available for purchase in case of vehicles registered before the 1st of February 2012. This year, an additional value-increasing service will be provided as standard for the passenger car customers: as of the 1st of February 2014, every new Mercedes-Benz passenger car owners or the vehicles’ appointed drivers will be invited to take part a driver training within the framework of Mercedes-Benz Driving Events in drivingcamp Hungary, Zsámbék. This way, the local distributor takes another step on the way to accident-free driving and also offers elements of the Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive assistance systems as standard for selected models.
Renewing light commercial vehicle line up
Contrary to the difficult market environment, the light commercial vehicle business unit of Mercedes-Benz Hungaria LLC managed to market a total 532 units. This result is mainly down to the introduction of the updated Sprinter and fleet deliveries, including Tesco’s dotcom project as a highlight. Within this agreement, the leading retail chain is delivering its products to customers who ordered online, using purpose-built Mercedes-Benz Sprinters. Representatives of the local distributor managed the whole process of delivering the vehicles from choosing the appropriate specification until the handovers, in cooperation with the employees at the retail partner. This way Tesco received tailor-made support besides the Sprinters that come with globally testified reliability. Viano also performed well in the last full year of its model cycle and will be replaced by the V-Class passenger car as of July 2014, before the launch of the new Vito at the end of the year.
During year 2013, Mercedes-Benz Hungaria LLC delivered a total 558 units of heavy-duty commercial vehicles. A decrease can be experienced on the market regarding investments in the small business sector and in the same time, the share of fleet deliveries is increasing. Last year, the heavy-duty commercial vehicle portfolio was renewed significantly with the introduction of the brand new Arocs, Atego, Econic and Unimog models. The new arrivals will be available for testing in a roadshow to be held in spring 2014 when a new driver training program will also be introduced to the customers, with focus on efficient driving.
EvoBus Hungaria LLC concluded a highly successful business year as well. Each of the 159 units of Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses have passed 80.000 km of mileage in Budapest since last May and unique Mercedes-Benz Citaro BlueTEC Hybrid buses will begin to operate by Q1 2014 in Kecskemét. The fleet of 25 units will provide zero emission transportation in certain stages of their lines. Deliveries and technical handovers have already begun. EvoBus Hungaria LLC has delivered a total 192 buses above 8 tons in 2013 and became a key player of the domestic bus market.
Stronger commitment to local activities
Besides the extensive social responsibility of Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary LLC in Kecskemét, Mercedes-Benz Hungaria LLC, the wholesale distributor is also committed to continuously deepen its Hungarian engagements. The local importer has been the Gold level sponsor of the Hungarian Handball Federation since 2013 and took part in the organization of the U19 Handball World Championship and supported the MOL Fencing World Championship as well.
In the fields of culture and education, the focus has been on the support of the automotive design education at Moholy-Nagy University of Arts & Design and the development of the design scene in general. To honor this spirit, an automotive design exhibition was organized in the Palaces of Arts and the Art Moments festival was also taking place with the support of Mercedes-Benz Hungaria LLC. The local distributor also contributed to the evocation of the famous rock opera, ‘István, a király’ to mark the 30th anniversary of its original premiere and supported the Analogue Photo Exhibition as well.
Charity campaigns are maintaining their high importance for Mercedes-Benz Hungaria LLC. In the wake of the ‘Segíts egy mosollyal!’ (Help with a smile!) campaign, more than 6.5 million HUF (approx. 21 667 EUR) was raised for the benefit of the International Children Safety Service and competitors of the 10th anniversary Mercedes-Benz Classic Star Tour also contributed to the work of The Early Intervention Center Budapest.