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The distribution giant behind the Benz dispute
Beijing Business DailyLiu Yang Yan Zhenyu
On April 14th, the relevant department of Xi'an issued a statement on the handling result of “a certain woman buying a Mercedes-Benz consumer dispute”. Just a few hours later, another Mercedes-Benz owner in Zhengzhou once again told the purchase of a new Mercedes-Benz car by video. The same quality problems encountered. The industry believes that the two emerging rights defenses not only make Mercedes-Benz immersed in the whirlpool of public opinion, but also let the dealer group Lixingxing behind the two 4S stores be concerned and questioned by the outside world.
In the early morning of April 14, the official Weibo of Xi'an Internet Information Office released the statement of the market supervision department of Xi'an High-tech Zone on the result of the handling of “a woman's purchase of Mercedes-Benz consumer disputes”. The statement shows that the market supervision department of the high-tech zone has requested Xi'an Lixingxing Automobile Co., Ltd. to continue to strengthen communication and resolve complaints. After the consumer’s newly filed claims and evidence investigations are verified, the parties shall make fair treatment according to the rules.
It is worth noting that although Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales & Service Co., Ltd. issued a statement on April 13 to apologize, the protagonist of the dispute vortex - Xi'an Lizhixing Mercedes-Benz 4S store in addition to the previous "has been eliminated with the female car owner" In addition to the misunderstanding and consensus, there is no official official statement.
A wave of unrest, a wave of up again. On the afternoon of April 14, another video of Zhengzhou Benz car owners defending rights reported by local media in Henan once again sparked heated discussions on the Internet. The video shows that recently, Ms. Wang, who lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, spent 400,000 yuan to purchase a Mercedes-Benz C260 model at the Zhengzhou Star Mercedes-Benz 4S store. Less than 24 hours after picking up the car, the vehicle suddenly appeared in the normal driving direction. The problem, the 4S shop pulled the car back to the test, the identification result is "the steering wheel assist system failure".
Ms. Wang said that her situation had been feedback from the 4S store to the manufacturer for half a month. Subsequently, the 4S shop clearly stated that according to the regulations of the three-pack of the car, Ms. Wang’s car could not be returned, and then Ms. Wang agreed to negotiate compensation with the 4S shop. However, after seeking help from the media and understanding the relevant legal provisions, Ms. Wang also considered her situation to be in line with the conditions for return, and therefore proposed to the 4S shop to modify the appeal. The negotiations between the two sides have also fallen into a stalemate. Finally, the Zhengzhou Star Mercedes-Benz 4S store promises to give Ms. Wang a new reply on April 16.
Regarding whether Mercedes-Benz will assist dealers in handling this new car purchase dispute in Zhengzhou, the Beijing Business Daily reporter tried to interview the relevant person in charge of Mercedes-Benz China, but as of press time, the other party has not yet received a reply.
In fact, although the Mercedes 4S stores involved in the two disputes are not the same, they are behind the same car dealer giant.
According to industry and commerce information, the legal representative of Xi'an Lizhixing Automobile Co., Ltd. is Yan Jiansheng. The company's shareholders include Zhongxing Group Co., Ltd. (75% shareholding) and Xi'an Aero Engine Group Tianding Co., Ltd., among which Zhongxing Group Co., Ltd. The company owns the domestic luxury car dealer group Lixingxing.
Coincidentally, the largest shareholder of Zhengzhou Star Auto Sales & Service Co., Ltd. is Tianjin Zhongyuanxing Investment Co., Ltd., and the sole shareholder of the latter is Shanghai Dongzhixing International Trade Co., Ltd., which is the legal representative of Yan Jiansheng.
Further enquiries into Kaixinbao can be found that there are more than one hundred companies represented by Yan Jiansheng as legal representatives, and most of these enterprises are related to Lixingxing. At the same time, Yan Jiansheng is the legal representative of Lixingxing (China) Automobile Enterprise Management Co., Ltd. and Lixingxing Trading (China) Co., Ltd., and the chairman of the two companies. Moreover, Malaysian Yan Jiansheng also has a status of Datuk in Malaysia.
Whether it is Li Xing, or Yan Jiansheng, they are inextricably linked with Mercedes-Benz's company in China. In the 1960s, Malaysian overseas Chinese company Li Xing, which started from exporting logs, ordered hundreds of large trailers from Mercedes-Benz, making it the largest customer of Mercedes-Benz trucks in Asia. In 1986, Mercedes-Benz (China) Co., Ltd. was established in Hong Kong. Lixingxing Group obtained the exclusive agency rights of Mercedes-Benz cars in China, and introduced and sold Mercedes-Benz cars.
In 2006, Mercedes-Benz (China) Co., Ltd. moved its headquarters from Hong Kong to Beijing and changed its name to Mercedes-Benz China Auto Sales Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Benz China"). At that time, Lixing Bank held a shareholding ratio of 49%, Daimler and Daimler Northeast Asia held 41% and 10% respectively.
Currently, Yan Jiansheng is a director of Mercedes-Benz China. In addition, the current legal representative of Mercedes-Benz China is Liu Yice. Liu Yice was the legal representative and chairman of Lixingxing (Dalian) Automobile Co., Ltd. and Dalian Zhongxing Automobile Co., Ltd. more than ten years ago.
According to industry insiders, whether it is from the history of cooperation between the two sides, or from the identity of executives, the relationship between Lixingxing and Mercedes-Benz China is not simple, and 49% of the equity, let Lixing in the Mercedes-Benz sales in China. Also have a certain right to speak.
It is worth noting that the voice of Li Xingxing has a challenging trend. As an important partner of Mercedes-Benz, BAIC Group also hopes to have more influence in the sales system of Mercedes-Benz in China. Subsequently, the influence of Lixingxing on Mercedes-Benz's business in China was weakened. In December 2012, Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales & Service Co., Ltd. was established. This new sales company excludes Lixingxing, of which Daimler Greater China Investment Co., Ltd. holds 51% of shares, Beijing Automotive (Hong Kong stocks 01958) Co., Ltd. held a shareholding ratio of 49%. In addition, in 2012, Daimler also reached an agreement with Li Xingxing, the share ratio of the two parties in Mercedes-Benz China changed to 75:25, and the Daimler share ratio increased to 75%.
It is precisely because of the close contact with Mercedes-Benz China that with the rapid sales of Mercedes-Benz in China, Lixing has gradually grown into a well-known luxury car dealer giant in China. In 2017, Lixing's revenue reached 80.11 billion yuan, ranking third in the 2018 China Auto Dealer Group's top 100 list.
However, despite the rising performance, Lixingxing has been constantly being questioned by the outside world. As the core of this car-buying dispute vortex, Xi'an Lizhixing has repeatedly reported the quality problems of the vehicles sold in recent years.
In October 2014, Xi'an Lizhixing owed a customer arrears of several thousand yuan, and the owner of the car was blocked by car. In February 2016, a female car owner spent a total of 486,000 yuan on the Xi'an Lizhixing to purchase a Mercedes-Benz GLC 300. After the car was picked up, the yellow light of the instrument panel was illuminated due to the failure; in April 2016, Zhang Mr. spent 2.6 million yuan to buy the Maybach S500 in Xi'an Lizhixing, but the car was leaking only half a month.
In response to the dispute over the purchase of cars by Xi'an Lixing, legal expert Zhao Occupation said, “In this case, consumers can completely ask for a change of car or a return. Of course, some people think that 4S shop is suspected of fraud, consumers can ask for a refund. I lost three. But I personally think that according to the current public information, it is still very difficult to determine that it constitutes fraud."
There are two new car failures in the 4S shop related to Lixingxing. There are also doubts that the two 4S stores may not implement the most basic PDI inspection in the industry (pre-shipment inspection) or sales. It is simply a used car or an accident car.
In this regard, Yan Jinghui, an expert in the automotive industry, said that PDI inspection is a project that dealers should strictly implement. From now on, it is not certain that Mercedes-Benz dealers have problems in this area. However, the two car purchase disputes that continue to ferment have a great impact. Both Mercedes-Benz and dealers must attach great importance to this. In the future, with the test results of the relevant regulatory authorities, the facts are clear enough, and whether the dealers have problems or not, the responsibilities that the manufacturers need to bear will gradually become clear.
Editor in charge: Fu Jianqing RF13564
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