It’s been two weeks since Mercedes me, Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz lifestyle space and experience center, opened with a bang in time for Auto China 2016, but its presence in Beijing’s Sanlitun district is no less dramatic now. A theater-sized screen and speakers broadcast auto race clips to passerby within a sizable radius, while a monumental logo casts its rainbow lights on one of the capital’s busiest intersections. This Mercedes me installment is Daimler’s largest in the world, and comes with the hope that mainland Chinese consumers want much more than to simply buy a new luxury car off a showroom floor.
The new space, located next to the towering InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun, features two restaurants—one is Si Fang San Chuan, a contemporary Chinese restaurant featuring a mix of Yunnan, Sichuan, and Guizhou cuisine, and the other is Me Cafe, which has Yunnanese coffee and a modern Southeast Asian menu. Around the front is a juice bar and a space that functions as both a lobby and work area. On the second floor is Lighthaus, a cocktail bar by Warren Pang, the founder of the acclaimed Janes and Hooch, on the Forbes 2016 list of 50 best bars in Asia. Sharing a panoramic view of Sanlitun is an AMG lounge with Mercedes’ short films projected on pods on the ceiling, and nearby, a gallery showcases a rotating selection of mixed media art.
Then there are the cars. At the front of the facility is a small retail area with branded merchandise and model cars topping out at 1,000 RMB ($150). At the back are two to three brand new vehicles that customers can only test drive—they can’t buy. If customers are interested in finding out how to purchase a Mercedes, there are expert staff on hand to walk them through the process or lead them through interactive digital experiences. Adding another dimension to it all are regularly scheduled events. Last week, for instance, Mercedes Me hosted a party for local speed fiends, featuring a simulator challenge where the winner received an AMG Driving Academy course.
(Source: Jing Daily)