Mercedes-Benz opens new CT dealership and previews new EV

Mercedes-Benz South Africa opens new Constantiaberg dealership. Photo: Supplied

Mercedes-Benz South Africa opens new Constantiaberg dealership. Photo: Supplied

Published Jul 14, 2023


The uptake of electric vehicles in South Africa is expected to increase as more charging stations and new vehicle models become available, Mercedes-Benz South Africa co-CEO and executive director Mark Raine said at the opening of the Mercedes-Benz Constantiaberg dealership in Cape Town’s southern suburbs yesterday.

The dealership is owned by Super Group Dealerships and is the second in South Africa that has adapted to the Mercedes-Benz luxury retail brand appearance since the global launch in 2018 and South African launch in 2019. Rainer also provided a “sneak preview” of the 7th Mercedes-Benz fully electric model intended for the South African market soon, the EQS SUV.

Super Group Dealerships CEO Graeme Watson said in an online briefing more of the luxury consumer-centric dealerships would be opened around the country, with the next one likely to be a boutique dealership at Cape Town’s Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in the fourth quarter.

“Our relocation from Claremont to Tokai, where the Constantiaberg dealership is based, is a move to strengthen existing relationships and build new ones. With our expertise of over 30 years, we have a deep understanding of the Mercedes-Benz market and are ready to continue to provide comprehensive and innovative consumer-centric support throughout the customer journey,” Watson said.

Rainer said the pricing of the EQS SUV would be determined closer to the timing of its formal launch in coming months. He said with the cost savings achieved through the use of electricity as fuel, and considering the purchase price, resell price, cost of running the vehicle and lifespan of the vehicle, the price of their electric vehicles was broadly similar to that of internal combustion engined vehicles.

He said the vehicles would make particular financial sense for their higher income clients who had already invested in their own renewable energy capacity at their homes, such as solar power, with many no longer operating on the electricity grid.

He said there were already some 350 electric vehicle charging points around the country, with many predicting this number to increase to 500 by the end of the year.

In addition, each customer that purchases an electric vehicle from Mercedes-Benz would be supplied with their own charging point, which was usually situated at the customer’s home.

Mercedes-Benz aimed to sell only electric vehicles from 2030 onwards, he said. In South Africa, in total, there were about 2000 electric vehicles on the roads, he said.

He said Mercedes-Benz would invest R50 million to establish a further 68 charging points in key areas, such as in Gauteng, Cape Town, Umhlanga and along national routes such as in Harrismith, midway between Johannesburg and eThekwini.

Watson said the vehicle retail dealership model in South Africa broadly, was also changing, with the very large, multiple dealerships in close proximity model, likely to rationalise in the future.

He said at the Constantiaberg dealership, the Mercedes-Benz retail brand appearance had been modernised and enhanced to exceed customers’ expectations for a luxury experience at every touch point, with the role between the physical and digital world in sales and service redefined.

The Mercedes-Benz brand retail standard is premised on an omni-channel strategy where the physical and online channels seamlessly complement each other for more convenience; digitalisation of the entire customer journey; the confluence of technology, aesthetics, innovation and sustainability, as well as impeccable customer service.

Construction of Mercedes-Benz Constantiaberg dealership started in September 2022 with successful completion in June 2023. Occupying about 7400 square metres, Mercedes-Benz Constantiaberg forms part of the Blue Route Mall property. The building spans 2170 square metres, a compact design that considers circulation space to enhance user experience and engagement at every touch point.