Welcome back to Motor Trader. I trust you’ve had a good break for Hari Raya and the school holidays and are back at work and raring to go. Things have barely started rolling again and already we’ve had two new car launches to cover. Ironically they’re aimed at the same target age group though from vastly different earning brackets.
The first is our cover car, the face-lifted (no it’s not new) Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It gets new engines and loads of kit but the big news is the new, younger face. Mercedes-Benz Malaysia is selling the car in sporty Avantgarde spec only, which ties in with its recent move to finding younger buyers. So the E-Class is no longer your dad’s Merc but could very well be the car of choice for annoyingly rich people below 35.
The other car is the Proton Suprima (stop sniggering about the name) and while new Proton models aren’t the big news they once were thousands of them will find their way on to Malaysian driveways due to a combination of price, performance and yes, sporty looks. It certainly appears more exciting than the staid Prevé so perhaps it’ll capture the imagination of youthful buyers like the Putra and Satria did years ago.
So, two cars from different segments but both aiming at younger buyers; does this mean automotive retail nirvana starts from 25-year olds? Well, buying cars is an expensive business so those who are just starting their working careers will need the aid of generous parents or a very understanding finance company. It’s good to snag them early though to build some brand reputation so perhaps Mercedes and Proton are on to something. Either that or there are more annoyingly rich 35-year olds than ever.