Dealers thrive on our appetite for Mercedes-Benz brand in Emirates

Sales of Mercedes-Benz cars soared across the Emirates in 2012, driving a record breaking year for dealerships.

Sales of Mercedes-Benz units rose to record-breaking numbers on more flexible payment options and the launch of new models such as the GL and M. Delores Johnson / The National
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Sales of Mercedes-Benz vehicles soared across the Emirates last year, driving a record-breaking year for dealerships.

Emirates Motor Company (EMC) and Gargash Enterprises both sold more of the luxury German brand cars last year than ever before.

EMC, the distributor of Mercedes in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, registered a 26 per cent increase in sales. Kamal Rafih, EMC's general manager, attributed the record-breaking rise to more flexible payment options and the launch of new models such as the GL and M.

"The most popular model is always the luxurious Mercedes-Benz E-Class, yet last year, the CLS was one of the most admired models, witnessing a 41 per cent increase compared to the same period of the previous year," he said.

The momentum has continued through to this year, with a 23 per cent jump in sales from a year earlier.

"Actually, from the last quarter of 2012 onwards, we have observed a gradual sales spike month-on-month across all our models," said Mr Rafih.

"This is also in addition to EMC's strategic focus on fleet customers where 75, 30 and 24 units were sold to Europcar Abu Dhabi, NTC and EMKE, respectively."

Gargash Enterprises, the distributor for the German brand in Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates, sold about 5,000 vehicles last year.

More than 1,300 of those were SUVs - a 42 per cent increase on 2011, which was thanks to the launch of the ML and GL models, according to Gargash.

There was also a 10 per cent rise in used cars and a 15 per cent increase in sales of heavy commercial vehicles.

"Our [total 2012] sales saw a leap of 22 per cent over 2011 figures," said Karl Johan Sandesjo, the general manager of Gargash Enterprises.

Last year was also the best year on record for Mercedes-Benz Middle East and Levant, with regional sales up 16.7 per cent on 2011 figures. The previous record was set in 2008.

But Mercedes was not the only luxury German car brand to do well in the UAE last year.

Al Nabooda Automobiles, the dealer for Audi in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, sold 2,222 vehicles last year - its best ever, representing an increase of 19.5 per cent on 2011.

Ali Al Nabooda, the general manager for Audi, said last year will go down as one of the most successful ever for Al Nabooda Automobiles.

The dealer, which opened the world's largest Audi showroom on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai last November, is building sales and service facilities in Fujairah and Sharjah, which are both due to open this year. Construction is also due to begin on a new 60 work-bay service facility for Dubai next year.

"The appetite for German engineered premium cars is very healthy in our market and I know that our team will continue to work hard to create new milestones throughout 2013," added Mr Al Nabooda.