A new R&D centre for tuning Mercedes-Benz cars to Chinese tastes

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Daimler AG opened an R&D centre in Beijing whose main task is to tune Mercedes-Benz vehicles according to the wealthy Chinese customers’ tastes.

Daimler’s objective is to expand the brand in China and to make Mercedes-Benz cars suited for the Chinese market. According to Hubertus Troska, the CEO of Daimler China, the new Research and Development centre signals a true commitment to a market that is said to become the largest one for Mercedes-Benz in one or two years. Furthermore, Daimler China will hire engineers and other specialists in Beijing, their number reaching 500 employees by the end of the next year, compared to the current number of 350.

In an interview from last week, Hubertus Troska said that “It is a logical step to better understand the market and make sure Chinese requirements are properly regarded early in the process when we develop a new generation of cars.”

In the recent months, Daimler has invested 110 million euros in the Research and Development Centre, because the growth potential in China is unique.

In China, the average age of a Mercedes-Benz customer is 38

In China, the average age of a Mercedes-Benz customer is 38, in comparison with Germany, for instance, where the average age is over 50 years old, therefore, a centre for tuning was required.

Wealthy Chinese customers also prefer spacious rear seats, advanced entertainment systems and climate control, because many of them have personal drivers. In addition to this, Troska confirmed that Mercedes-Benz considers manufacturing a new model for the Chinese market, without adding further details about this future vehicle.

Due to the overall slowdown in economy from the recent months, the automobile sales growth has slowed as well. Despite this, the automakers are estimating that the overall annual demand will be around 35 million vehicles by 2020, compared to 22 million vehicles last year.