Mercedes-Benz – The inventor of the automobile


Experience new worlds with the inventor of the automobile – Kick-off in China: Mercedes-Benz enters the premium travel business

Inventor of the Automobile

As the first automotive brand Mercedes-Benz is entering the international market for premium travel services.


The Stuttgart automaker presented its new “Mercedes-Benz Travel” brand in Shanghai. The first market for this new business concept will be China. Mercedes-Benz has entered a strategic collaboration with HHTravel, the renowned premium brand of China’s biggest online travel operator Ctrip International. By offering a range of high-grade travel packages focused on fascinating European locations as well as unique events, the car manufacturer is breaking new ground. Mercedes-Benz Travel was developed by Business Innovation, Daimler’s own “think tank” for innovative business models beyond the automobile, and made ready for the market.

“Individual mobility is our core expertise. We have been working on this for 128 years. Our goal is to move people and Mercedes-Benz Travel enables us to do just that, but in a new way,” said Wilfried Steffen, head of Business Innovation, during the presentation of the all-new premium travel brand. “As first step into the premium class travel business, we will develop and offer unique products for travel-loving, sophisticated customers in the Chinese market. You do not have to be owner of a Mercedes-Benz; the offer is open to every interested globe-trotter in China. Our long term goal is to expand our premium class travel service gradually into other countries.”

Perfection, Fascination, Responsibility

The Mercedes Benz Travel product line-up is positioned in the premium class segment. Particularly fascinating destinations in Europe are combined with carefully chosen thematic routes and premium events into travel packages for small groups. For the realisation of the tours, Mercedes-Benz Travel collaborates with Eurotours, the biggest Incoming Agency in Central Europe. Here, the discerning traveller benefits from the high quality standards of the Mercedes-Benz brand which stands for perfection, fascination and responsibility. A wide range of interests will be covered for travellers: from attending spectacular events, through thematic tours in sports, fashion or for technology enthusiasts, as well as offers for those interested in culture. Customers will have the opportunity to get a glimpse behind the scenes during their travels and enjoy unique experiences in direct contact with their hosts. Every tour is a little bit about building mutual understanding between cultures along the lines of “Where guests become friends“.

Expected from the end of February, Chinese customers will be able to book tours on a dedicated Mercedes-Benz Travel Website as well as via call centre. The first departures of tours are scheduled to take place in mid-year.

China – A growing market for premium travel

China offers great potential for products of Mercedes-Benz Travel, as it is a fast growing market for international, guided tours with sophisticated ambitions. As a result it is the perfect location for this new business model. Mercedes‑Benz Travel has found a local sales and distribution specialist in HHTravel, which holds high expertise in luxury travel and special knowledge of the premium tourism sector. Together with its corporate parent Ctrip, HHTravel is firmly anchored in the rapidly growing Chinese market and provides Mercedes-Benz Travel with a great deal of potential for future growth.

About Business Innovation

Initiated in 2007, Business Innovation is Daimler’s ‘think tank’ for innovative solutions beyond the core business of car manufacturing. The teams deal with future trends and technological, social as well as cultural developments to create profitable business models. Tested and evaluated on a pilot basis, success stories like car2go, moovel and Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy started here as proof-of-concept projects and have subsequently become profitable businesses. By now, Business Innovation teams are spread all over the globe. Apart from the headquarters in Stuttgart they are based in Istanbul, São Paulo, Buenos Aires and Sunnyvale, CA. The team in Beijing was started in 2012.