Mercedes-Benz plans to import smaller models into Korea next year.
Mercedes-Benz Korea president Harald Behrend said nothing had been decided yet but added: “I am sure that a number of smaller cars will come to the market. The starting point will be next year,’’ the Korea Times reported.
Behrend said the move was geared toward attracting more young customers who might start with compact models before moving to higher end models later.
Mercedes-Benz models have been bought mostly by those in their 40s or 50s with greater purchasing power in Asia’s fourth-largest economy rather than being the first car of young motorists.
Behrend seems to believe that Mercedes-Benz will be able to expand to the younger demographic group through diversifying its line.
Mercedes-Benz Korea sold 16,124 cars in 2010, up 81% year on year.
Behrend also stressed that Korea is more than a sales market.
“Korea is not only an important market to sell our products but it is also a major source of our product parts supply. Since 2004, Daimler [has had] a purchasing office in Korea,’’ he said.
“Parts for cars and trucks from more than 30 suppliers are being sourced and exported to Daimler production locations worldwide. The annual volume of business is higher than a double digit million euro figure and will be increased further in 2011 with new projects.’’