These offers are created during a period that is considered as being the most successful time of this world-renowned brand. It was with this in mind that we spoke to Miroslav Vrcelj, Fleet and Used Car Manager at Star Import, who highlights all the most important news and developments within Mercedes-Benz.
During the first half of this year, Mercedes-Benz has handed over to customers 783,520 vehicles (up 12.8%), making this the best count of unit sales result in any half-year ever in the company’s history. This result places this German manufacturer in first place in the premium market segment worldwide. Mercedes-Benz is also performing very well in this segment in Serbia, and our goal is to keep this trend going and growing.
Beyond the prestige of a five-star brand, what is the secret to success?
– The company places special emphasis on technical innovations and the excellent quality of the brand itself, its reliability and constant competitiveness. We also find outstanding customer service very important.
Which models are most in-demand among diplomats?
– The E-Class family models are the most relevant for diplomats in their work, as they meet adequate representation requirements. Since market launch in March, the E-Class Coupe and All-Terrain have also been available in our portfolio. Last year saw the brand new E-Class limousine and T-Model come out, but also the multifunctional VClass, which offers 7-9 seats and resembles a minibus, making it the perfect vehicle for diplomatic delegations. In addition to these models, I am happy to announce that the new, facelifted S-Class will also have its Serbian premiere in October.
What does model refreshment involve?
– Usually formal and aesthetical changes made to the outlook design. In the case of the iconic S-Class, we can almost talk about a completely new model, because it includes new diesel and petrol engines, while the assistance systems that support drivers have been refined further. The lighting and telematics systems have been renewed, and a new driving benefit has also been introduced – Energizing Comfort Control, which provides the driver with various relaxation and comfort features.
The E-Class family models are the most relevant for diplomats in their work, as they meet adequate representation requirements
Who is eligible for diplomatic discounts?
– Embassies, consulates, diplomats, honorary consuls, international organisations and their members can receive special discounts intended for diplomats. In the case of private car sales for diplomats, we can also provide certain discounts. But for all further and more detailed information I would advise readers to please visit our website’s Diplomatic sales section.
What experience have you gained during your work here?
– The process usually sees us order the model chosen by the customer, after which we individually configure it directly from Daimler Stuttgart. The invoice will contain a net price without VAT, customs or any other taxes. Depending on the model and status, different discounts can be provided for diplomats. The biggest discount can be given in the case that an official ambassador’s car with flag holders is purchased.
We can see currently that premium services have become very popular with our customers, while we notice great potential in this market segment. We offer a very wideranging portfolio of models and absolutely take the ideas and requests of customers into consideration, before we present them with their personally-tailored Mercedes-Benz cars. We are also more than happy to provide them with suggestions and assistance throughout the entire purchasing process, and we also appreciate feedback from our customers, for the sake of our further and better development.
There have been new developments of late in the laws regarding diplomatic purchases – our government recently changed the law so that diplomats can now purchase vehicles on Operational Full-Service Leasing, which previously wasn’t the case. With this new regulation, diplomatic vehicles can be purchased not only for cash or under terms of immediate payment, but also through monthly instalments over certain periods of time, commonly three or four years. Based on Operation Leasing with Car Fleet management, all expenses, maintenance, winter and summer tyre changes, are included in the monthly fee. The vehicle’s owner is the leasing company that leases the vehicle, while the Embassy pays monthly instalments that include all vehicle costs.
What are your future plans?
– We would like to build a long-term business relationship with members of diplomatic corps in Serbia and the region, and to provide the kind of high-quality services that meet the expectations of our premium customers. In conclusion, what we offer is what our brand claim suggests: “Mercedes- Benz: The Best or Nothing”.