Automotive BMW vs Mercedes-Benz

Published on December 26th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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BMW and Mercedes-Benz, the race is heating up!

Who will sell the most vehicles in 2019?

The race is now on for the two biggest premium brands in Malaysia. The age old friendly rivalry has always kept us motoring media in the grandstands watching the friendly battle move from circuit to circuit.

Yes, the rivalry between Mercedes-Benz and BMW in Malaysia has been in progress for years but in the last 5-6 years the race has heated up even more as the plug-in hybrid incentives that was awarded by the previous government allowed both BMW and Mercedes-Benz in Malaysia to hit for the very first time in years’ double digit sales numbers in Malaysia. 

These tax incentives brought the selling prices of high specification BMW’s and Mercedes-Benz cars almost a smidgen above the prices of executive local assembled and also imported Japanese and Korean sedans. The Mazda6, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima and Nissan Teana buyers could upgrade to a BMW 330e and Mercedes-Benz C350e quite easily. 

Mercedes-Benz 350e

So with the added growing sales of the BMW 330e and Mercedes-Benz C350e, the Japanese and Korean sedans mentioned above all saw a significant drop in demand to the point of getting almost only single digit sales numbers a month.

Now four years later, the number of BMW 330e and Mercedes-Benz C350e cars running around Malaysia is quite amazing seeing as these cars are not as popular elsewhere in the region as other countries in ASEAN were not so generous with import tax incentives for plug-in hybrids like our previous MITI and MAI (now rebranded as MAAri) team were.

Today, the 2015-2016 BMW 330e and Mercedes-Benz C350e are as common as any Japanese or Korean executive sedan in our major cities and for 2019, with the end of the tax incentives and the National Automotive Policy sitting in a locked safe waiting for yet another unveiling date, both Mercedes-Benz and BMW in Malaysia have stopped selling the  BMW 330e and Mercedes-Benz C350e together with other similar former tax free plug-in hybrids as without the import tax incentives their selling prices have hit the high RM380,000 plus plus plus pricing (which is more than RM120,000 from the former tax free holiday pricing)). 

This is why both the BMW 330e and Mercedes-Benz C350e have been replaced by petrol driven models with asking prices that are far ahead of the Mazda6, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima and Nissan Teana (Tan Chong has for some time stopped selling the Nissan Teana in Malaysia and Mazda does not have anymore Mazda6 wagons or sedans in stock).

So, in a few weeks’ time when the final sales numbers are in, who will be the premium market sales leader in Malaysia. BMW Malaysia or Mercedes-Benz Malaysia?

Well, executives from both BMW and Mercedes-Benz Malaysia have smiled and responded to us with a positive five figure sales number to date. But no final sales figure yet. 

Seeing a five figure (10,000 or more) total sales for both BMW or Mercedes-Benz Malaysia we think is already very good when looking at our declining economy, slow suffering currency and total slowdown of our car industry. 

We wish both BMW Malaysia or Mercedes-Benz Malaysia all the best and we say, hitting a sales figure of past 10k is already very good and let us not quibble over who is the segment leader and instead look towards a successful 2020.  


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