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Mercedes Me Lets You Connect Your Phone To Your Merc


Mercedes-Benz India Launches Connected Car Features And Announces E-Commerce Portal For Used Cars

  • Mercedes-Benz India launches connected car features for all its models from 2007. 
  • Mercedes Me Connect to go live from November 15, 2019, after which all Mercedes cars will have a factory-fitted e-SIM.
  • The adapter for older cars priced at introductory Rs 5,000.
  • All cars sold in 2019 will get the service for free as part of the company’s 25-year celebrations in India.

Mercedes-Benz India is the latest car manufacturer to climb aboard the connected car train, by offering the Mercedes Me Connect features on all its cars. The company announced that all its cars sold in 2019 will receive the features for free, while older models dating all the way back to 2007 will require an adapter to avail the features, albeit for a small ticket. The company also announced the launch of its e-commerce portal for used cars, and eventually new cars, during the event. Mercedes celebrates 25 years of existence in India this year.

The Mercedes Me Connect features are part of its attempt at digitising the entire customer and ownership experience, under the global Best Customer Experience 4.0 initiative. According to Mercedes-Benz India managing director, Martin Shwenk, the Mercedes Me Connect will be rolled out in three phases.

 

In Phase 1, the company will offer the Mercedes Me OBD Adapter, which can be installed in all Mercedes cars as old as 2007. The adapter, which offers 14 connected car features, can be bought at a nominal price of Rs 5,000. The list includes monitoring vehicle health, roadside breakdown management and list of refuel stops. For cars they have sold since the beginning of 2019, Mercedes will fit the adapter for free as part of its 25-year celebrations.

 

In Phase 2, which begins on November 15, 2019, all the cars it sells will come with an embedded SIM (e-SIM) card with built-in connected features. This phase rollout will also see more features, including geofencing, taking the total to 25. One important feature will be the e-Call emergency calling service, for which MBIL has set up a dedicated call centre in the country.

In either case, owners can connect to Mercedes Me through their smartphone app. We tried using some of the features from a demo phone and locking/unlocking the car was as simple as holding a button for a little over a second. The app also displays the shape of your exact connected car model on the screen, along with various details.

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Mercedes-Benz eventually also plans to introduce the globally available Mercedes Benz User Experience (MBUX) features to cars sold in India. MBUX is an interactive voice-activated feature, which functions as a smart personal assistant. Like Apple’s Siri, all you have to say is “Hey Mercedes” to activate it. That should definitely make accessing many of the smart features and personalising settings much easier.

All these features are good for self-driven cars, but we wonder how useful they would be for Mercedes-Benz carsa large number of which are driven by chauffeurs. According to Shwenk, “It is true that most of the owners are chauffeur-driven on weekdays, but many of the same owners also drive themselves on the weekends. In both cases, the owner will feel more secure without having to rely on their chauffeur or any attendants at workshops or parking areas where they leave their cars, thanks to the connected features”.

“You can simply send the car your location to be picked up, monitor the vehicle’s status remotely and also set a speed alert to ensure vehicle safety,” he adds. The one feature we see being really useful is the tele-diagnostics, which can help remotely identify car issues.

Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz India has also launched its e-commerce portal to sell certified used cars. The portal has been developed under an agreement with US-based Roadster Inc. The portal goes live on October 1, 2019, and will feature used cars initially, with dealer-certified cars to be available from December. Come January 2020, and you will even be able to purchase new cars from the portal.

Shwenk said that Mercedes-Benz India is optimistic about the online purchase service and expects to see at least 25% of its total sales from e-commerce by 2025.

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