Mercedes to go all-electric in Malaysia

Luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz is setting its sights on Malaysia as a key player in its electrification journey, aiming to roll out an all-electric lineup on the country's roads by 2030.

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Luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz is setting its sights on Malaysia as a key player in its electrification journey, aiming to roll out an all-electric lineup on the country’s roads by 2030. This goal follows their recent achievement of launching the first domestically assembled electric vehicle in Southeast Asia earlier this year.

In a striking turn of events, sales of electric Mercedes vehicles in Malaysia have surged by a whopping 200% this year, surpassing the global growth rate of around 120% observed in the first half. This shift is even more impressive given the relatively small starting point.

The electrifying trend has led to electric vehicles making up about 30% of Mercedes’ lineup in Malaysia. The company’s future plans for electric and combustion engine cars align with their global vision of going fully electric by 2030.

Bettina Plangger, Vice President of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, emphasized the growing interest in electric vehicles among Malaysians, stating, “People are increasingly interested in EV vehicles, others are coming into the market, and there is big demand. We are very optimistic that we can reach this target for Malaysia.”

Malaysia is actively fostering an electric vehicle ecosystem and offering incentives to drive adoption. The country aims for electric and hybrid vehicles to constitute 15% of the total industry volume by 2030. Notably, BYD Co. and Tesla Inc. have recently entered the Malaysian market, although Mercedes’ premium positioning sets it apart in a competitive field. With five models and seven variants, Mercedes already boasts one of the largest EV lineups in Malaysia.

Mercedes’ locally assembled EQS 500 4Matic, starting at 649,000 ringgit ($142,000), takes center stage as the most luxurious and priciest EV in Malaysia. Comparatively, Tesla’s Model Y SUV starts at 199,000 ringgit, while BYD’s Dolphin EV and flagship Atto 3 begin at 99,900 ringgit and 149,800 ringgit, respectively.

Plangger highlighted that for Mercedes, value holds more weight than price. The EQS offers not only opulence but also advanced features like semi-autonomous driving, rear axle steering, and electrically adjustable rear seats in lavish nappa leather.

Beyond price tags, it’s the holistic experience that Mercedes prioritizes for its customers. Plangger summed it up, saying, “At the end, it’s not about price, but what can you offer your customers for that price. That is value. We go for the best technology, and we want to give our customers the best customer experience.”

In a harmonious turn, Mercedes’ partner in Malaysia, Hap Seng Star, has transitioned to an agency model to enhance customer interactions and pricing control, creating a smoother experience for consumers.

Mercedes’ electrification journey is accompanied by collaborations, including with Petronas’ green mobility unit, Gentari Bhd., and EV Connection Bhd., to expand charging networks across Malaysia. With the introduction of highway charging stations and Malaysia’s first EV charging hub, Mercedes is charging ahead with its commitment to sustainability.

The interview’s crescendo reveals Mercedes’ ongoing innovation, with plans to introduce two new electric vehicle variants in Malaysia by the end of 2023.

As the curtain closes, Mercedes is setting its sights on an electric future, with ambitions to become fully electric by 2030 where market conditions allow, and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2039. The luxury brand’s melody of progress and sustainability continues to resonate across the automotive landscape.