Benz hopes to remain Koreans’ favorite with 2019 Benz C-Class

By Kim Bo-gyung
  • Published : Jul 1, 2018 - 19:15
  • Updated : Jul 1, 2018 - 19:15

LUXEMBOURG -- Introduced to South Korean drivers in 2003 with the setup of Mercedes-Benz Korea, the German luxury carmaker’s C-Class lineup has since become one of Korea’s most preferred import cars.

The first C-Class introduced here was the 203 series equipped with the carmaker’s then-most innovative technology, the Sequentronic automated six-speed transmission.

The roots of the globally popular lineup dates back to 1982 when the 190 model was launched as the first of the 201 series, categorized in the compact class.

AMG steering wheel (Mercedes-Benz Korea)
Widely known by as “Baby S-Class,” the C-Class lineup has garnered demand worldwide and in Korea on its unique positioning as an affordable version of the ultrahigh-end S-Class.

In 2017, 415,000 C-Class cars were sold around the world, ranking No. 1 in sales by model. Trailing behind were the E-Class with 350,000 units and S-Class with 70,000 units, according to the company.

In Korea, the C-Class lineup is the carmaker’s No. 2 best-seller after E-Class sedans, and the fourth most purchased among imported cars.

Sales of the C-Class totaled 9,846 units here last year, up 2.4 percent on-year, data from Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association showed.

Among C-Class variants, the entry-level C 200 sedan is the most sold model here, posting accumulated sales of 9,222 units from January to May 2017, according to KAIDA.

“What’s clear is that we’ve done a lot to give even greater character, intelligence and performance to the C-Class, which was already quite attractive in the first place,” said Michael Hartmann, project management of the C-Class of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

Controller used to operate display board (Mercedes-Benz Korea)
Among a slew of changes, Korea’s auto industry has high expectations for Benz’s new engine installed in C200 cars, a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a twin scroll turbo and 48-volt EQ Boost.

The EQ Boost electric motor produces an additional 10 kilowatts, or 14 horsepower, assisting the engine to boost its performance.

Expected to hit local showrooms in the fourth quarter this year, the face-lifted fifth-generation C-Class is to be an important model for Benz Korea to attain its goal to sell over 70,000 units this year. 

By Kim Bo-gyung
Korea Herald correspondent