Benz Korea reveals new CLS coupe, aims to sell over 2,300 units

By Kim Bo-gyung

Benz extends local chief Psillakis‘ term for a year

  • Published : Jun 18, 2018 - 16:10
  • Updated : Jun 18, 2018 - 16:33

Mercedes-Benz Korea, the local unit of the German luxury carmaker, revealed its first five-seater CLS coupe in six years in Seoul on Monday, seeking to inch closer to this year’s goal of selling over 70,000 cars for the first time among import carmakers.

Riding on demand for CLS coupes here, Benz Korea hopes to sell more than 2,300 units of the new CLS this year, surpassing last year’s performance when South Korea was the second bestselling market for CLS worldwide after China.

The third-generation CLS will be released here in August. 

From the beginning stages of designing the fully changed CLS coupe, Benz headquarters had in mind Korean drivers’ preference in terms of design, reflected in the enlarged display, the company said. 

Mercedes-Benz Korea CEO Dimitris Psillakis (left) introduces the third-generation five-seater CLS coupe ahead of its release in the third quarter this year at Benz’s digital showroom in central Seoul, Monday. (Mercedes-Benz Korea)

Mercedes-Benz Korea CEO Dimitris Psillakis highlighted the revamped design that “captures the emotions” alongside the practical lifestyle the new coupe delivers as two factors that will capture local drivers.

“The CLS (design) is very accentual, fascinates people and makes them to want it. The CLS expresses lifestyle. This new model offers five seats which means day-to-day practicality for the first time in the history of the CLS design,” said Psillakis during an unveiling event at its digital showroom in central Seoul.

Psillakis, whose term as CEO of Benz Korea is due at the end of August, has recently had his term extend for another year.

He explained there are many tasks for him to complete for the German carmaker to achieve sustainable growth in Korea.

Ranked No. 1 import carmaker here by sales for two years in a row, Benz Korea sold 68,861 units last year, according to data from Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association.

This year‘s goal is to sell over 70,000 units by launching nine new models and about 20 new lineups, including the new CLS, the company said.

The biggest change of the fully changed third-generation coupe is the five-seater interior from the previous four-seater, catering also to drivers looking for a family car.

With the release of first-generation CLS in 2003, Benz created a new segment of four-door coupes, breaking away from the conception that coupes had to come in two doors.

The price tag of CLS 400 d 4Matic and CLS 400 d 4Matic AMG Line is 99.9 million won ($90,464) and 190 million won respectively, the company said.

The new CLS world premiered at the LA motor show last November. 

By Kim Bo-gyung (