Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has had a relatively slow start in terms of product launches this year, but things are set to pick up considerably in the second half. The company is due to introduce a number of new models and variants, with the first of the core models being the W222 S-Class facelift.

It was reported last year that the car was targeted for a June introduction, but it’s now confirmed that the S-Class will be launched in early Q3, quite possibly sometime next month. An example was spied on local roads back in May, and based on an MBM price list that briefly appeared on the company’s website, the debut model should be an S 450 variant, in locally-assembled guise.

No word on whether the S 560 e plug-in hybrid is in the pipeline – there has been a general quiet about this, but by all accounts the company’s strong hybrid push in recent times should see the replacement of the S 400 h being part of the range, though at what point remains to be seen.

A model that is certain is the third-generation CLS – when we last spoke to MBM vice-president of sales and marketing Mark Raine, he said the C257 was on the cards, due in sometime after mid-year. The CLS is already in the region, having made its market debut in Thailand – in a solitary CLS 300d AMG model guise – a few months ago.

The W205 C-Class facelift is also due in before the year is out, making its appearance here in Q4. The car is expected to arrive in its Benz-badged civilian form first, followed by the AMG C 43 versions at a later point. Other AMG-related activity is also due – word from the grapevine has it that some AMG 53 models are on the cards (perhaps the E 53 and CLS 53?).

The new G-Class is another vehicle inbound, but there’s no confirmation as yet to whether the niche Gelandewagen will make it in this year or have its local debut in 2019. One car that was scheduled to be launched around this time was the W177 A-Class, but buyers will have to wait that bit longer for one. Apparently, production issues have delayed the market deployment of the hatchback globally, and it looks like the A-Class will only go on sale here by year-end at the earliest.

When it finally arrives, the A-Class will go on sale in fully-imported CBU form, as has been the case with the W176 model, but Raine said that the company is looking into eventually assembling the brand’s compact cars here as part of its continued growth plan. “We’re looking at extending our local product portfolio. We already have the C-, E-, S-Class, GLC and AMG 43 models, so the logical next step would be the new compact cars,” he said.

“The locally-assembled C-Class, E-Class, S-Class and GLC made up more than 75% of our overall sales last year, so if we want to continue to expand the footprint of Mercedes-Benz in Malaysia the key to it is localisation, and that’s why we’re also looking at compact cars,” he said, adding that no decision on localisation plans have been confirmed, or even with regards to model choices.

A future model being looked at very intently is the A-Class Sedan. The car made its debut in a China-only long wheelbase form back in April, but a version tailored to the needs of customers outside China is slated. “That is something we are obviously looking into, as Malaysia is still very much a three-box design market. So, we’re very excited about that, because the A-Class sedan would open up the brand to a wider target audience here,” Raine said.