Mercedes in China

Daimler Top Dog in China

File photo of visitors looking at a Mercedes-Benz SLK class car during the 15th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition in Shanghai
Visitors look at a Mercedes-Benz SLK class car at the Auto Shanghai motorshow. Source: Reuters

Daimler has never been shy when it comes to putting its Mercedes S-class on show. But the company was particularly impressive in its presentation of the newest version of its flagship sedan, ahead of this year’s Auto Shanghai motor show.

Around 500 spectators were taken to a hall in the Shanghai Expo Center and invited to experience the revamped S-class for themselves. As well as the car, they were entertained by a live orchestra and dancers dueling with light sabers. No expense spared: Daimler finally has something to celebrate.

In the first quarter of 2017, the maker of Mercedes, Smart Automobile and many other vehicle brands, took the crown as the biggest premium carmaker in the Chinese market, overtaking BMW and Audi on the back of 26.6 percent sales growth.

“Hardly anyone expected it to happen so quickly,” said Axel Schmidt, automotive expert at management consultants Accenture: “You can genuinely call this an unprecedented success story.”

Daimler has not only revamped its range of models and upgraded its sales operation. It also seems to have improved its understanding of China and the Chinese. At the S-class launch, Hubertus Troska, the head of the company’s Chinese operations, turned on the charm, beginning his speech in Chinese. It fitted well with the company’s mood in Shanghai: the company was determined to celebrate.

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