As families came together the week before last to celebrate Hari Raya, Mercedes-Benz held its own gathering with marketing partners to announce the return of the much-awaited MercedesTrophy.
“We appreciate our sponsors as the event is quite a heavy investment. Also to me, this feels like a small family gathering,” says Michael Jopp, vice-president of marketing and sales at Mercedes-Benz Malaysia.
It was fitting that everyone met at the Saujana Golf & Country Club in Selangor, a sort of home club for the amateur tournament in Malaysia. “The national final will be hosted here. So, it’s nice to come together with our partner representatives who are also very much into golf,” he says.
“Once we start the qualifying rounds for customers in June, we will have the big Mercedes family coming together,” says Jopp, who plays for fun. “I know I couldn’t win and I wouldn’t win.”
The five qualifying rounds will be held at Kota Permai GCC (June 15 and 16), Forest City GR, Johor (June 30) and KLGCC, East Course (July 6 and 7). The winners of each round will meet in the final on July 21 and the top two players with the highest stableford points will qualify for the MercedesTrophy World Final in Stuttgart, Germany — the birthplace of the automobile and Mercedes-Benz.
“Like our products, golf embodies the passion for perfection. Each swing has to be perfect every time,” says Jopp.
“This strong connection between the game and our brand has led to the active involvement of Mercedes-Benz in this sport since its inception in 1989. The MercedesTrophy, now in its 32nd year, reflects the brilliant connection between sports and lifestyle while underlining the luxury status of Mercedes-Benz.”
Perfection is what the automaker strives for with each vehicle it rolls out. Taking that goal to the field, it is encouraging participants to strive for that perfect drive by offering the first player to achieve a hole-in-one on any of the two designated par-3 holes at each venue an all-new Mercedes-Benz E 200 Avantgarde Line worth RM330,240*.
Other prizes include exclusive brand merchandise and novelty items from the marketing partners, including Mercedes-Benz Services Malaysia, Crestlink, EPOS, The Edge Media Group, Taylormade, The Saujana Hotel, Carlsberg and Precise Rehab.
The MercedesTrophy, open to owners who have purchased a vehicle from the automaker’s authorised dealers in the last five years, was first introduced in 1991 to enable customers to experience the brand through their passion for golf. Today, more than 60,000 participants tee off in over 60 countries worldwide every year.
Covid-19 did not dampen players’ spirits in the last two years, thanks to golf being an outdoor sport that allows for social distancing, Jopp notes. “I remember last year, I talked to customers who said, ‘I don’t know this course. I came and played a round to practise so I will be in good shape today’. That’s how seriously they take it.”
Now that restrictions have been relaxed, he senses “an exuberance and energy that certainly translates to this trophy”. Customers fight to join, he jests. This interest is evident in their staunch support for the brand too.
“Since we came out of the lockdown last year, sales have been fantastic. We’re seeing a recovery and a good order intake that exceeds expectations. We are very confident we will end up with a significantly higher sales volume this year.”
In addition to the pent-up demand caused by the lockdowns, Jopp attributes better sales to Mercedes’ product portfolio, including the recently launched C-Class, the new E-Class and the GLE, which is still fresh.
There is also the GLC, its bestselling model, and the locally assembled CKD models. “Since we launched the latter, the demand for our compact cars has also increased significantly,” he says.
Jopp sees a big demand for luxury vehicles in the market and for Mercedes. This is evident across its portfolio.
Retail price effective until the end of the tax incentive period. To register for the MercedesTrophy, on a first-come, first-served basis, click here. Or call 1 800 88 9880 for enquiries.
This article first appeared on May 16, 2022 in The Edge Malaysia.