VIR talks with the company’s new sales and marketing director Dirk Adelmann to get inside its activities to boost sales in a difficult economy.
What do you feel about your new assignment in Vietnam?
I feel really excited about the dynamism of Vietnam. I have worked for Daimler AG for more than nine years, and before joining Mercedes-Benz Vietnam, I was in charge of South East Asia markets for four years. So, I am somewhat familiar with Vietnam.
What do you think about Vietnam’s market as people are tightening their belts?
I agree with Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA)’s forecast on the slightly decreasing sales trend this year. However, I think it will be a bit different for the luxury car segment. Last year, Mercedes-Benz passenger cars showed an impressive year-on-year growth of 23 per cent. This year we see a positive development for Mercedes-Benz despite a difficult market environment. Mercedes-Benz Vietnam and our authorised dealers always place the customers in the centre of our efforts and will try to satisfy as many Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts as possible this year.
Is this the reason why Mercedes-Benz Vietnam recently opened many dealers in 2012?
Yes, the demand of our customers is increasing and we are developing our dealer network to keep up with it. In February, Mercedes-Benz Vietnam opened a new Autohaus in Haiphong port city. Two other Autohaus dealers in Danang and Ho Chi Minh City’s District 7 will be opened very soon. We also launched two additional major projects in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in 2012. This shows that we are very confident regarding the market potential for our growing product range.
What do you think about the luxury segment in Vietnam, especially when Lexus will open its authorised dealership in the beginning of 2013?
We highly appreciate competition. Yet, Mercedes-Benz Vietnam is the only luxury auto brand in Vietnam to have dealer network from north to south, therefore will be closer and meet customer demands better. Thanks to our loyal customer base, we could defend and further improve the market leadership position in the premium segment. During 2010-2012, we will have invested more than $23 million in facilities and our dealers as well as a further $10 million in the Mercedes-Benz authorised dealer outlets.
The change in key positions took place in a difficult economy, while the sales results in the previous year were very successful. How will the new management board of Mercedes-Benz Vietnam remain successful?
We have an excellent mix of very talented and experienced employees who put great efforts to contribute to the success of Mercedes-Benz Vietnam. With this strong team and the new ideas we will bring from other markets, we trust Mercedes-Benz Vietnam will be able to write the next chapter of this great success story in 2012.