The German auto icon is also eyeing China's smaller cities as more Chinese fulfill their dreams of a successful life.
At the 13th Chengdu Motor Show that began on September 17, Mercedes-Benz displayed a comprehensive lineup of 25 models under its Mercedes-Benz, AMG, smart and Maybach badges - the most ever for the luxury automaker at the show.
"With an unmatched heritage of nearly 125 years and continuous investment in China, Mercedes-Benz continued to maintain powerful momentum in the first eight months of the year, growing by 131 percent over last year to deliver more than 87,400 cars," said Bjoern Hauber, executive vice president for sales & marketing at Mercedes-Benz (China) Ltd.
"Chengdu's rapid growth is a true reflection of the strong potential of southwest China and we continue to attach strategic importance to the entire region," said Hauber, who participated in the Chengdu auto show for the third year.
Strong SUV lineup
China was Mercedes-Benz's third-largest market last year, contributing 12 percent of its global sales.
"We are confident of further development in China - the premier segment will definitely outpace the total vehicle market. Our target is to maintain the fastest growth in the premier segment in China," he said.
With a display area of nearly 1,600 square meters, Mercedes-Benz took center stage for its Asia premiere and China market launch of the new generation Grand Luxury Sports Tourer R-Class.
"The R-Class takes the acknowledged characteristics of vehicle categories, including the sporty sedan, estate, MPV and SUV, and fuses them together to create its own unique personality," said Hauber.
The model continues the legacy of its predecessors by featuring 4 MATIC all-wheel drive, offering the outstanding off-road performance and superior reliability of an SUV.
China became the largest market in the world for the R-Class in the first eight months of 2010.
Mercedes-Benz also displayed its rich SUV lineup at the Chengdu show and officially launched the M-Class Grand Edition.
The luxury legend also launched the latest masterpiece in its mid-sized luxury SUV GLK-Class, the GLK 300 Dynamic.
In the first half, the SUV sector - the fastest growing segment in China - reported a sales surge of 133 percent over last year to 587,000 units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
SUVs also comprised the largest portion of the 353,000 vehicles imported last year, accounting for 54.8 percent of the total.
"Mercedes-Benz has sold 17,800 SUVs in China to date this year, growing 85 percent over last year," said Hauber. "The huge market demand, especially in southwestern China, makes us confident to bring more products in the segment."
"Infusing high performance into the atmosphere of Chengdu motor show, we also brought two heavyweight AMG models here, which truly reflect Mercedes-Benz's 125-year heritage in motorsports," said Hauber.
Touted as the ultimate sports car, SLS AMG features a purist design that points to the future of sports car, while featuring the iconic gullwing doors.
The smart brand brought six variants to the Chengdu motor show.
"With an innovative design and eco-friendly character, smart truly brings to life the concept of urban mobility, which has been applauded by advocates who desire a car that offers their pursuit of individuality and creativity to people not only in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai, but also in Chengdu," said Hauber.
Bringing more options for people who want to join the Mercedes-Benz family, the company will further expand its portfolio with more smaller-sized cars as entry-level models.
"We have started presales of our A-Class that will be launched this year," said Hauber. "The A-Class represents very well how Mercedes-Benz changed in recent years to make itself a dynamic, younger and deep-hearted brand. It indicates our strategy of making every model of ours the premier one in its segment."
The long-wheel-base E-Class also captured a lot of attention at the show.
"The locally produced long-wheel-base E-Class is to reinforce the title as the 'World's Best Business Sedan', as the model witnessed continued success with more than 26,280 delivered so far this year," said Hauber.
Mercedes-Benz also brought other newly launched models - including the E-Class Cabriolet and C-Class Estate - to Chengdu.
"With such an extensive display amid a vibrant atmosphere, we truly brought to life its philosophy of 'The Best or Nothing' in southwest China, and further reinforced our unwavering commitment to China in the pursuit of 'Fascination, Responsibility and Perfection'," said Hauber.
An exhibition alongside the automotive masterpieces shows Mercedes-Benz's commitment to corporate social responsibility in the southwestern region.
Its efforts highlighted include help to Sichuan panda sanctuaries in earthquake-affected areas and the first music classroom at the Mercedes-Benz School in Shifang.