Design and on-going innovations as key factors for success: Tailored Range of Products for Mercedes-Benz Cars
Cars from Mercedes-Benz, AMG and smart fulfil the very highest standards and can be configured to match customers’ individual needs. The portfolio from Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH likewise stands out for its exceptional diversity and tailored products. The company is responsible for the development, selection and marketing of Genuine Accessories and Collection items for the aforementioned brands. The number of products on offer runs to five figures, and includes everything from state-of-the-art communications solutions and handy transport aids to detailed replica model cars and stylish personal accessories.
These are supplemented by licensed products developed in partnership with leading branded goods manufacturers as well as the exclusive range from Mercedes-Benz Style: since 2010, the Mercedes-Benz design team has branched out from classic automotive design to collaborate on the design of other products too with selected partners. Mercedes-Benz has already created and presented, amongst other things, its own line of furniture, an Eyewear Collection and a “Leather and Luggage” collection, as well as various lifestyle products under the Mercedes-Benz Style label.
Besides great design, the secret of the company’s success also lies in the products’ diversity – there are some 800 different light-alloy wheels, for example – and its innovative flair. Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH was the first manufacturer to provide mobile internet access with an InCar Hotspot, for instance, while the Mercedes-Benz app store was the first to be opened by a carmaker (http://apps.mercedes-benz.com). The new A-Class heralded the arrival of another world first: the Drive Kit Plus for the iPhone®. Wireless in-car iPhone® integration and a revolutionary graphics design ensure that the Facebook generation can feel perfectly in their element while out on the road.
“Our regularly updated product range is selected based on strict criteria and is a non-stop source of innovations,” remarks Christian Boucke, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH. “Our close proximity to the vehicles and supreme standards of quality, safety and design ensure that the products fit in with our customers’ lifestyles.”
Christian Boucke goes on to express his company’s aspirations in even grander terms: “By transferring the Mercedes-Benz brand values of fascination, perfection and responsibility to our accessory and Collection products, we seek to amaze our customers in a way that lasts. We want to make the Mercedes-Benz, smart and AMG brands an experience that extends beyond the vehicle and thereby complete the brand world for our customers. What’s more, our licensed products transport the brands into other spheres of life and lifestyle areas while reinforcing them with selected exclusive collaborations.”
Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG. The company employs approx. 250 people and is based in Stuttgart-Vaihingen.
Innovative: ingenious in-house developments and remarkable products
Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH has been going from strength to strength ever since its foundation in January 2000: ingenious in-house developments such as the basic carrier bar system for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and the illuminated door sill panels are subject to ongoing improvement and adapted to new vehicle models. The company has regularly assumed a pioneering role in the automotive industry with cutting-edge telematics products such as the iPod® Interface Kit (2005), InCar Hotspot (unrestricted in-car internet access, 2009), the iPad® Docking Station Plus for the rear compartment that is integrated into the seat structure to make it crash-proof (2011), as well as the Drive Kit and Drive Kit Plus for the iPhone® (2012). The close cooperation with Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc. ensures that the latest trends and innovations from Silicon Valley can be incorporated into the products’ development. The in-house developed Digital Drive Style app®, for instance, provides for comprehensive integration of the Apple iPhone®, allowing various digital lifestyle services and content to be transferred to
The Mercedes-Benz Collection comprises products for him, for her, for kids, for motorsport fans and for brand enthusiasts in general. Only the very best is worthy of the three-pointed star, and that applies to the entire product portfolio. Renowned for their versatility and painstaking attention to detail, the specially developed products in the Mercedes-Benz Collection thrill classic, AMG and trucker enthusiasts alike.
The smart Collection offers a vast selection of stylish products, ranging from trendy fashion wear and cool personal accessories to original fan merchandise. In 2012, the smart electric drive Collection and smart ebike Collection were added to the range, providing a choice of cool and chic fashion and lifestyle products to tempt all electromobility enthusiasts, whether they prefer travelling on four wheels or two.
Hallmark Mercedes-Benz: stringent standards of quality and safety
The product assortment from Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH meets the same stringent standards of quality and safety that Mercedes-Benz expects from its cars. All articles are subject to a meticulous pre-selection process, an exhaustive approval procedure, regular inspections, as well as strict manufacturing tolerances.
The internal standards applied by Mercedes-Benz are far more exacting than the statutory requirements. The rigorous quality checks that carrier systems have to undergo, for example, last for up to four months. All parts are truly put through their paces in a series of crash tests, salt water spray chamber cycles, drives over rough roads, handling tests and vibration load cycles. During this time, the genuine accessory has to withstand far greater stresses than during real-life operation.
For discerning customers: Genuine Accessories from Mercedes-Benz
The Genuine Accessories allow customers to individualise their vehicle as they please. Covering the four areas of Exterior, Telematics, Interior as well as Cargo & Care, the product spectrum provides tailor-made customisation options for making any Mercedes-Benz, AMG or smart model stand out even more clearly.
The development team for Genuine Accessories numbers over 30 employees, who are based in the Mercedes-Benz plant in Sindelfingen, ensuring immediate proximity to the vehicle design engineering specialists. When it comes to the creative product development process and styling, Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH is also able to call on the expertise of the Sindelfingen Design Studio. The loving attention to detail and harmonisation with the vehicle design underpin the high-class appeal the brand is renowned for, and that shines through in the materials and flawless workmanship, too.
Straightforward assembly, perfect integration into the vehicle architecture and supreme accuracy can therefore be taken for granted. The close interaction with the vehicle experts furthermore guarantees that innovative new products can be readied for market fast: as soon as a new model is launched, tailor-made products are already available to let customers enhance and personalise their car.
The next world premiere is due in March 2013. The accessories range for Mercedes-Benz passenger car models will be extended to include a selection of premium products with a distinctly sporty bias marketed under the Mercedes-Benz Sport label. Besides detachable body parts for enhanced aerodynamics and looks, customers will also have the choice of e.g. a sports suspension kit, a sports braking system, light-alloy wheels and a sports rear silencer, along with a leather steering wheel, illuminated door sill panels and velour floor mats.
Mercedes-Benz Collection: design and function as ingredients for success
Nothing but the best – needless to say, this pledge applies to the products in the Mercedes-Benz Collection, too. All articles are designed, developed and manufactured especially for Mercedes-Benz. They start off as individual scribbles and detail sketches, which are later turned into precise technical drawings. These provide the basis for making prototypes. The next step involves evaluating the proportions, functionality and material selection in order to satisfy the demanding requirements of Mercedes-Benz.
In its quest to ensure top quality, Mercedes-Benz furthermore has the products in the Mercedes-Benz Collection, including their raw materials and components, inspected by specialists from SGS Institut Fresenius, an independent test institute in Germany. Over the course of numerous laboratory and safety tests, the products have to meet tough test criteria that far exceed the requirements laid down by law. It is only once testing has been completed successfully that the product can be put into production.
The range of model cars from Mercedes-Benz Accessories are likewise of the very highest standard: from the Unimog through the current new model line-up to vintage sports cars, miniature enthusiasts can take delight in a highly sophisticated and regularly updated selection of models in a range of scales, whose attention to detail is simple unparalleled. And this has not escaped the attention of the trade specialists: in 2012, readers of the German model vehicle magazine “MODELL FAHRZEUG” voted Mercedes-Benz the “Automotive Industry’s Premium Brand” for the second time running in recognition of a model car policy that is judged to be the best amongst carmakers.
Cleverly conceived: smart ordering and configuration options
Genuine Accessories and articles from the Mercedes-Benz Collection are available worldwide from Mercedes-Benz sales and service outlets and smart Centres. Many of the accessories can be included in the order when configuring a new car. The Collection products are also stocked by a number of exclusive Mercedes-Benz Boutiques located throughout Europe. The licensed products, meanwhile, are sold through selected specialist shops.
Since September 2011, the attractive assortment of products from Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH has also been accessible online for customers in Germany. Fans of the brand will find over 1000 articles in all in the Mercedes-Benz Online Shop, including current offers from the Mercedes-Benz Collection, navigation CDs/DVDs, the latest apps and digital travel guides (http://shop.mercedes-benz.com).
The Accessories Configurator offers online assistance with the selection of vehicle accessories for over 50 different model series at present (www.mercedes-benz-accessories.com). Apart from the current Mercedes-Benz range, the Configurator also covers many older models. The digital product brochure provides an overview of the Mercedes-Benz Genuine Accessories that are available. The Accessories Configurator is also available to iPad® users as an app.
Licensing: alliances with renowned branded goods manufacturers
When it comes to licensed products, Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH collaborates together with renowned international branded goods manufacturers. Since 2010, the Mercedes-Benz design team has branched out from classic automotive design to collaborate on the design of other products too, with selected partners, under the Mercedes-Benz Style label. Licences are issued for the Mercedes-Benz, Maybach and smart brands. Various different categories of products are on offer, ranging from furniture through exclusive leather personal accessories to elegant sunglasses.
The partner for the Mercedes-Benz Eyewear Collection is Germany’s leading spectacles manufacturer Rodenstock, which has been offering an exclusive range of spectacles bearing the Mercedes-Benz Style label, conceived and designed in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz designers, since 2013. Mercedes-Benz and Rodenstock are united by their manufacturing know-how, tradition and quality of the very highest calibre.
The Mercedes-Benz Style designers have joined forces with the design team from the Formitalia Luxury Group, one of Italy’s top designer furniture manufacturers, to develop an exclusive furniture collection.
In collaboration with the TWC-L’Amy Group, one of the foremost French manufacturers of accessories, jewellery and leather goods, Mercedes-Benz Style has devised a luggage collection catering specifically to the requirements of the business traveller.
Both the name and quality of the high-end automotive brand MAYBACH are preserved in the form of top-class eyewear and personal accessories. Developed in partnership with IVKO, the MAYBACH – ICONS OF LUXURY stand out for their exquisite, meticulously crafted materials and outstanding design.
“Mercedes Benz Perfume – The first fragrance for men” was brought out in autumn 2011. This was followed in November 2012 by the debut of “Mercedes-Benz Perfume – The first feminine fragrance”, which was created in partnership with the INCC Group. In October 2012, the Mercedes-Benz Golf Accessories were launched in alliance with the well-known Japanese manufacturer Maruman. These products are available in Japan.
There are also a number of video game, model car and toy products that are manufactured under licensing agreements and exclusively for the brand with the three-pointed star.
All licensed products are available to buy in selected specialist shops.
New label since 2010: Mercedes-Benz Style
Mercedes-Benz Style is as synonymous with design and innovation as Mercedes-Benz itself is. Mercedes-Benz Style communicates originality through intelligently conceived design and styling. Its objective is to transpose the iconic design that so characterises the brand to products outside the automotive context. This is immediately recognisable from the distinctive design idiom and the use of innovative materials, colour schemes, structures, shapes and light. In addition to various furniture and lifestyle articles, both a yacht and a helicopter have been designed under the Mercedes-Benz Style label.
To create a sense of fascination and to reinforce the brand identity: these are the aims of the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy, whose strategy focuses on long-term effect rather than short-lived trends. It is for this reason that the unmistakable design idiom, the high standard of quality, the selection of top-class materials with a perfect finish, as well as the fusion of luxury and aesthetics, are factors common to all products. Their design is characterised by a progressive, avant-garde design idiom.
Credits: Daimler AG
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