FRANKFURT, Sept 23 Mercedes-Benz plans to open a
museum in Beijing to showcase the heritage of the brand, the
luxury carmaker's latest bid to boost flagging sales in China
where it is outsold two to one by Audi and BMW.
The museum will be the first by a foreign luxury carmaker in
China and follows a series of attempts by Daimler-owned
Mercedes to boost its performance in the country,
including appointing an executive focused on the market and
agreeing to buy a stake in its local partner.
"Daimler is looking at new ways to more frequently interact
with the customer and get them excited about the Mercedes-Benz
brand. A new museum is certainly a way to support that," said
LBBW analyst Frank Biller.
Most German carmakers, including Mercedes, Porsche
and BMW, have museums in their home market
to show off their brands, which experts say can boost their
appeal among potential buyers.
"Chinese consumers are extremely brand conscious and value
those names that can display a rich tradition and long history,"
a spokesman for Daimler said on Monday.
The company did not give any details on the size or scope of
the project, or when it might open.
More than 5 million people have visited the Mercedes-Benz
Museum in Stuttgart since it opened in May 2006, it said.
(Reporting by Christiaan Hetzner; Editing by Mark Potter)