Mercedes-Benz’s iconic smart car brand is celebrating five years of success in China.
Smart first arrived in the country in 2009 and established itself in 12 Chinese cities. Its innovative urban mobility was an immediate draw for Chinese consumers. Since then, the brand has made its way to 77 cities via 143 outlets.
According to Annette Winkler, global head for smart at Daimler AG, China has contributed considerably to the brand’s global success.
“Smart loves China and China loves smart. It has inspired our team during the past five years,” Winkler said in an interview with China Daily. “We entered China in 2009, now our beloved country has become smart’s second largest market in the world. The high brand value recognized by Chinese consumers and our 60,000 smart owners makes us confident to try everything to develop the brand for future success.”
The smart car’s iconic compact design and willingness to cater to Chinese consumers have been large factors in the brand’s success in China, Winkler says.
“It’s a product perfect for urban mobility and the success is owed largely to tailor-made special edition models offered exclusively to trendy Chinese consumers.”
Smart has also “pioneered different marketing and sales campaigns on online platforms” and became the first automaker to use WeChat, China’s largest social media platform, for sales last April.
To celebrate smart’s fifth Chinese anniversary, the brand staged the LIVE smart 5-Year Anniversary Concert at Shanghai Stadium, a gathering of smart car admirers and owners from across the globe. Featuring performances by pop stars Hua Chenyu and Li Yuchun, the event drew over 50,000 attendants, 10,000 of which owned smart cars.
The concert also served as an opportunity for the brand to unveil two new special edition models to celebrate the five-year anniversary. The smart 5th Anniversary edition includes “locally-inspired design elements,” including a red body and tridion safety cell and red seams on the door bags, dashboard, kneepad, and seats. The smart 2015 New Year edition, on the other hand, features a black tridion safety cell and a sleek hazelnut brown metallic body.
Daniel Lescow, Director of smart Operations at Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales Service Co Ltd., says that the brand “comes with big ideas and infinite imagination.”
“As the final stop of our smart times 2014 party, the LIVE smart five-year anniversary concert showcases our brands’ creative spirit and unabashed passion for city life that we share with smart owners and fans,” he added. “This evening marks a most exciting encounter for our smart brand, and will be remembered dearly as we continue to grow together!”
image credit: smart usa