ALTHOUGH he is obviously busier with Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep nowadays, Robert Shaw, vice president for Sales and Marketing of Auto Nation Group, can also be credited for helping Mercedes Benz establish a stronger foothold in the Philippines.
And like Rene Nuñez, currently the president of CATS Motors Inc., Shaw sees Mercedes Benz getting more followers in the Philippines.
He said that Mercedes Benz now has wider offerings that include models that will facilitate new entrants to the brand.
“In 2007, we only had the C-class as one’s entry into the brand. But in 2012, Mercedes also introduced the next generation compact cars, the A [Class] the CLA [Class], the GLA [Class], which are now priced friendlier than your C-Class,” he said.
“The demographics have also changed. Our customer base is getting younger because of these cars. We also noted that 60 percent of the buyers of these cars are new to the brand, they have no Mercedes experience,” Shaw added.
There is also a growing number of Mercedes Benz buyers from outside Metro Manila.
“Before, in 2005 and 2006, I can still remember we would concentrate on Manila and then you have the occasional customer fly into Manila, shop for cars, and then have the car shipped back to the province. The question is how do we get them serviced,” Shaw said.
Now that Nuñez is the president of CATS Motors, he believes Mercedes Benz is in good hands.
“I’m personally very happy with Rene on board, because he brings with him a lot of experience, not only with cars in general but with Mercedes Benz. This [marketing and selling Mercedes Benz vehicles]is something that you cannot learn overnight, you cannot hire a manager and immediately get to that same level [as Rene],” Shaw said.
The backgrounds of Shaw and Nuñez contrast somehow, because Shaw started as a salesman at Toyota Alabang while Nunez is a car collector who had extensive stints in the banking and gaming industries before heading CATS Motors.
But both agreed that they are the “Dynamic Duo” behind Mercedes Benz and Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep in the Philippines. When asked who is Batman and Robin between the two of them, both said they were Batman. No doubt about that.
Editor’s Note: Fast Times apologizes for the articles on Rene Nuñez published on October 27 (‘The car collector as automotive executive’ and ‘Why collect Mercedes Benz cars’) where he was named Robert Nuñez. The error was unintentional.