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At a press conference this morning that saw Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) announce its business performance for the third quarter, slash the prices of its C-Class and confirm that more diesel models are coming here, it had also confirmed that a plan to maintain its current car prices into 2016 is in place, despite the unfavourable value of the ringgit, and a potential change to its hybrid vehicles’ tax-free status when the year ends.

Currently, MBM’s hot-selling S 400h L (formerly known as the S 400 L Hybrid) and E-Class E 300h (E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid) enjoy full duty exemptions under the 2014 National Automotive Policy (NAP). Should no tax-free status extension be awarded to the models by the authorities, their RM583,888 (S 400h) and RM338,888 (E 300h) prices could revert to their original figures, which we understand could be nearly double.

Mark Raine, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s vice president for sales and marketing, told members of the media that despite the changing environment MBM finds itself in in Malaysia, there are no price hikes anticipated at the moment.

“Currently, we are lobbying the government to allow us to continue offering our models with the same prices going into 2016. On our side, we have always maintained a support for Malaysia in its positioning to become an EEV hub in the region, and we continue to be optimistic of our chances at maintaining our models’ current prices,” he said.

More recently, the company also announced a price reduction across its locally-assembled W205 C-Class range. The base C 200 Avantgarde is now listed at RM248,888 (RM21,000 reduction), while the new top-spec CKD C 250 AMG Line retails for RM287,888 – RM52,000 less than the earlier CBU model.

This was achieved by the C-Class range qualifying for the Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) duty incentives, and is unrelated to the full tax exemptions awarded to locally-assembled hybrid models. Other models to have benefitted from the EEV policy include the locally-assembled Mazda CX-5, Mazda 3, Honda City, Honda Jazz, Perodua Axia and the Great Wall M4.