Thestar : Naza targets Merc at youth

Naza targets Merc at youth
Wednesday March 1, 2006

JOHOR BARU: Owning their first set of wheels is now more than just a necessity for some youths as young as 22 years old behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz.

According to Naza Group managing director Tan Sri Nasimuddin S.M. Amin, these cars were usually given as gifts from parents or partners.

Basically, these cars are bought for occasions like a graduation, or as a present for a child or girlfriend.

There are quite a lot of young owners in Kuala Lumpur and who prefer the E and B Class models as they cost below RM200,000, he told StarBiz.

Nasimuddin, who was recently in the state for the launch of the new Mercedes-Benz Autohaus showroom in Plentong, said with the new S and CLS, Mercedes-Benzs market share was coming back.

Now that the new S Class is out, everybody who has had his S Class for the last seven years will be looking to upgrade, he said.

He agreed that when it came to luxury cars, classic colours were still favoured over flashier ones.

Of course, it depends on the customer but the best selling colours are usually silver and black, he said.

The Johor Baru Autohaus is the largest in the southern region, with a total investment of RM27mil. Of that, RM16mil was used to buy the land.

The showroom is owned by NZ Wheels, a subsidiary of the Naza Group. Nasimuddin said he hoped the Autohaus would further strengthen Nazas position as the leader in Malaysias luxury car market.

According to Nasimuddin, the Autohaus in Johor was the second one to open after Klang, with the third to open in Kuantan.

A temporary showroom will open in Kuantan while the Autohaus is being completed in a year, he said.

Nasimuddin said 20 Mercedez-Benz cars had been sold in the last four months, at a monthly turnover of about RM7mil. We are targeting to sell 200 units this year from this Autohaus, he added.

A Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren was unveiled in conjunction with the launch of the Autohaus. Priced at RM3.8mil and with the top speed of 400km/h, the super car is a stunning combination of Mercedes-Benz technology, coupled with McLaren design.

Of the 1,000 units produced worldwide, only three have been brought to Malaysia. Of that, one is in our Autohaus in Johor, he said.

Last year, 3,311 Mercedes-Benz cars were sold nationwide, capturing 1% share of the luxury car segment.