Beijing, China, Apr 23, 2010

At “Auto China 2010”, Mercedes-Benz is setting the scene for its continued dynamic growth on the world’s biggest car market. With an increase in sales of 112 percent, the first quarter of this year saw the Stuttgart premium car manufacturer set a new record in China. Making their debuts on the show today were no less than four attractive new models that will surely add extra impetus. The most important newcomer is the new long wheelbase E-Class, which celebrates its world premiere in Beijing. The long wheelbase version offers 14 centimetres more leg room in the rear and was developed specifically for the important Chinese chauffeured limousine market. And, making their local market premieres are the new E-Class Cabriolet, the SLS AMG super sports car and the C-Class Estate. Mercedes-Benz is also setting a highly emotional accent with the world premiere of the all-new Concept Shooting Break – the groundbreaking study displays an array of conceptual and technical innovations and offers an exciting glimpse of the brand’s future design language.

With the Concept Shooting Break, Mercedes-Benz is continuing its successful tradition as a trendsetter for new vehicle segments. The innovative concept study combines the practical benefits of an estate car with the elegance of a luxury coupé, and showcases the further development of modern Mercedes-Benz design in keeping with the cultivated sportiness so typical of the brand. “With the new Concept Shooting Break, we are demonstrating once again that pioneering spirit is an integral part of the Mercedes-Benz brand DNA,” said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Its world premiere in Beijing is also an acknowledgement of the Chinese market, which continues to emerge as a driving force for our entire sector.”

The new long wheelbase E-Class makes its entry as an important new “engine” for Mercedes-Benz sales growth in China, arriving at dealerships here at the end of June. It is the first Mercedes model to be developed specifically for the Chinese market. The vehicles are being produced locally by the Beijing Benz Automotive Corporation within the scope of the expanded joint venture with the Beijing Automotive Industrie Holding Company (BAIC). “The new long wheelbase E-Class stands as an example of our regional portfolio strategy and for our long-term commitment to the Chinese market, where this year we want to sell more than 100,000 vehicles for the first time,” continued Zetsche. “I am certain that the new E-Class L will make a significant contribution to that.”

The new E-Class with 14 centimetres more rear leg room

With a wheelbase of 3,014 millimetres (overall length 5,008 millimetres), the new E-Class L is even better suited to the requirements of the Chinese market in this class of vehicle. In China, many business saloon customers prefer to be chauffeured rather than driving themselves. In the rear of this five-seat limousine, passengers have no less than 14 centimetres more leg room than in the already very comfortable E-Class with the regular wheelbase. One particularly convenient feature is that the position of the front passenger seat can be adjusted electrically from the rear of the long wheelbase E-Class. Drive comes courtesy of a range of initially two modern and efficient petrol engines (E 260 CGI, E 300).

Market premiere for E-Class Cabriolet and SLS AMG

With the new Cabriolet, Mercedes-Benz is completing the successful E-Class family with a particularly appealing version. The open two-door offers a pure convertible feeling thanks to its classic fabric top. The new model boasts a stunning side profile with clear proportions and an elegant silhouette. With the innovative automatic AIRCAP® wind deflector, redesigned AIRSCARF® neck-level heating and the standard-fit sound-dampening soft top, the new E-Class Cabriolet offers a level of year-round comfort for four people that is unique in the convertible segment.
The distinctive design of the SLS AMG captivates with its passionately sporty character and reinterprets the breathtaking form of the legendary 300 SL – an outstanding design icon of the Mercedes-Benz brand. The long bonnet, the low greenhouse set well back and the short rear end with the deployable spoiler are just as indicative of its dynamic prowess as the wide track and large wheels. Short overhangs define the proportions, as does the super sports car layout with a V8 front-mid engine mounted low down towards the rear and coupled with a dual-clutch transaxle transmission. Styling highlights include the gullwing doors, which lend the SLS AMG its unparalleled charisma.

The fourth new model for the Chinese market making its debut in Beijing is the C-Class Estate. This makes Mercedes-Benz the first manufacturer to offer a lifestyle estate car in China - combining functionality and sporting elegance.

Also at “Auto China”, Mercedes-Benz is celebrating the Asian premiere of its latest research vehicle, the F 800 Style. The five-seat luxury-luxury class saloon combines highly efficient driveline technology with innovative comfort and safety functions, as well as an emotional design language. Unique among large saloons worldwide is the all-new variable driveline architecture. It is suited to fuel cell electric drive with a range of around 600 km, as well as for use as a plug-in hybrid, whereby the overall range of around 700 km includes up to 30 kilometres of electric-only drive. Thus, Mercedes-Benz is offering clear proof that the lowest fuel consumption and CO2 emissions can also be achieved with large automobiles.

Presentation with stars from the international sport and show business

With four new models, as well as the world premiere of the Concept Shooting Break, Mercedes-Benz delivered a much-publicised presentation in Beijing. The company underscored its high regard for the Chinese market and for “Auto China” with the involvement of international stars in its press conference event. Former Formula 1 champion Mika Häkkinen presented the new SLS AMG, while Chinese star tenor Dai Yuqiang provided a stunning musical accompaniment to the world premiere of the new long wheelbase E-Class.

The star guest for the introduction of the E-Class Cabriolet was world-famous English pop and R&B singer Leona Lewis, who had already delighted the audience on the eve of the show with a private concert at the “Mercedes-Benz Cars Premiere Night”.

Mercedes-Benz Cars Premiere Night with Maybach world premiere

To set the tone for Asia’s largest and most important motor show, the Stuttgart premium manufacturer staged a unique show in equally unusual surroundings. The venue for the exclusive “Mercedes-Benz Cars Premiere Night” was the former American Embassy Chi’en Men 23 in the former diplomatic quarter of Beijing. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG respon-sible for Group Research and Development Mercedes-Benz Cars and Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Head of Sales and Marketing for Mercedes-Benz Cars presented the Mercedes-Benz and Maybach brands to invited guests and stressed the leading position held by Mercedes-Benz in the luxury car market.
One highlight of the evening was the world premiere of the further refined 2010 generation of the high-end luxury limousines from Maybach, making their debut under the heading “Excellence Refined”. The further refined models 57 and 62 are now even more exclusive with targeted modifications in design, technology and equipment, once more setting the benchmark in their segment. Guests were also treated to an equally exclusive, fifteen-minute private concert by world-famous English star Leona Lewis, who added her own very special touch to the luxury brand evening with Mercedes-Benz and Maybach.

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