Malaysian-built Mercedes-Benz vehicles being evaluated for Philippine market

Whenever we think of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, words like German build-quality and opulent luxury come to mind. With its long heritage of building executive sedans, powerful sports cars, and high-end SUVs, it's no wonder customers (and die-hard fans) prefer the three-pointed star.

But despite the brand's German origins, Mercedes-Benz cars for the Philippine market are actually built all over the world. For example, SUVs like the GLE and GLS actually come from the USA. Meanwhile, the GLB 7-seater crossover is sourced from Mexico. The G-Class (AKA G Wagen) is manufactured in Austria by Magna Steyr. Even more recently, the all-new 2023 C-Class hails from South Africa.

Only several models actually come from Germany including the E-Class and the S-Class as such. However, one of the automaker's closest rivals BMW has been sourcing vehicles from Malaysia thanks to the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA). Not only does this allow BMW to price their vehicles more competitively, but the vehicles also benefit from reduced import costs and less complicated trade procedures.

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With Mercedes-Benz also having a factory over in Malaysia (they also build Mercedes-AMG vehicles over there), could the automaker actually get units from our Southeast Asian neighbor? According to Sagree Sardien, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Southeast Asia Region II, they are evaluating it.

During the launch of the 2023 C-Class, Sardien mentioned that they are continuing to evaluate getting complete knock-down (CKD) vehicles from Malaysia for the Philippine market. In addition, they will see how government regulations are developing before considering sourcing CKD units for Mercedes-Benz Philippines.

Should the automaker actually start getting units from Malaysia, this will not be the first time Mercedes-Benz Philippines distributor Auto Nation Group Inc (ANG) will get cars from our ASEAN neighbor. In the past, ANG actually sourced several C-Class units from Malaysia. But as we mentioned earlier, the fifth-generation C-Class will now come from South Africa.

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Other specifics regarding the possible sourcing of CKD units from Malaysia for the Philippine market were not yet mentioned. But according to Sardien, we have to stay tuned for more details regarding this development.

If ever Auto Nation Group Inc decides to source Mercedes-Benz (and Mercedes-AMG) cars from Malaysia, would you consider it or would you still prefer cars built from other global Mercedes-Benz factories? Let us know in the comments.