Published on May 3rd, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
BMW vs Mercedes-Benz
The continuing clash of luxury titans BMW and Mercedes-Benz in Malaysia is just like the never ending clash between the family/executive/reliable and sturdy car manufacturers, Honda and Toyota. The storyline for years has been simple: While Mercedes Benz stood fast in its simple elegant designs BMW surged out in front for a few years with innovative and stylish vehicles, even creating new segments like the sports SUV, sports Crossover and even the sporty fastbacks.
Now all this has changed and the same can be seen for in the Honda vs Toyota battle where Honda has finally overtaken Toyota in Malaysia after years of Toyota’s complete and unprecedented dominance. This has only driven Toyota to look hard and fast at their products and revive showroom interest with the infusion of motorsports based roadshows and the ultimate ‘Wow’ factor that new car buyers want today.
Meanwhile, after several years in which Mercedes struggled to find an answer to BMW’s dominance, especially the latter’s swift expansion into the booming crossover market, the story has changed. And pretty dramatically. Mercedes has turned their design language completely to cater to a new generation of buyers and have been patient to reap success. With any new radical design change, traditional buyers will not be happy as they are used to normality. With Mercedes, their new design language initially took their existing customers by surprise and there was even some hesitation at showroom levels which moved some customers to walk into Audi and BMW showrooms.
Still, Mercedes did not panic and instead kept moving along and now this has paid off handsomely. Now, BMW is playing catch-up on several fronts, and their immediate solution to keep showroom traffic has had previous buyers fuming. Why? Well discounts, overtrade and the infamous pre-registration has taken away virtually all their margins but have kept stock moving, especially local assembled stock which cannot be housed and warehoused for too long as this can be costly.