BUSINESS

Mercedes-Benz Eurostar, new service center launched in Gangnam

By Kim Bo-gyung
  • Published : Aug 13, 2017 - 17:46
  • Updated : Aug 14, 2017 - 14:33
Wise Auto Holdings, a bodybuilder of Mercedes-Benz’s commercial vans here, rolled out the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, dubbed Eurostar, at the opening of a service center for the vans Thursday.

The opening of the center located in Gangnam, southern Seoul, was part of a marketing strategy to target Korea’s growing van market, the company said Sunday.

“We spent three years to prepare for the opening of the service center, not to mention all the investment put into research and development and real estate,” Lee Dong-yoon, director and general manager of Wise Auto Holding, told The Korea Herald at the unveiling ceremony.

“We specifically asked Daimler Trucks Korea to approve of two decisions. One to open a service center in the heart of Seoul, Gangnam, for exposure and sufficient parking space. The other was to lower the height of the van.”

A model poses in front of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van dubbed Eurostar. (Photo courtesdy of Wise Auto Holdings)

The height of the Eurostar has been lowered to 2.35 meters to accommodate parking in Korea, the company said. Entrances to underground parking lots here tend to be lower than in other countries.

The Eurostar is also equipped with a cutting-edge driving assistance package to offer maximum safety, the company said.

According to Lee, the van is priced at 119 million won ($104,125), which is lower compared to the new version of its rival Hyundai Motor’s Solati minibus set for release later year with a 150 million won price tag.

To reduce the price, Wise Auto Holdings mass-produced the vans by making bold investments. Due to its affordable pricing, the latest Eurostar has been banned from exports and vehicle registration in the EU, the company said.

The firm aims to sell 400 to 500 units annually, twice the sales of its rival Chevrolet Express Explorer van.

Since 1995, over 3 million units of the premium Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans have been sold across some 130 countries, the company said.

The Sprinter van made a name for itself here, following reports that Shinsegae Group Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin uses the model for commutes.

The new two story service center sits on a total of 1,409 square meters. It is the first service center exclusive to vans in central Seoul. 

By Kim Bo-gyung (lisakim425@heraldcorp.com)