The company's objective is clear - to sell more to user-chooser fleets across Europe. And it will be part of a much bigger offering to the corporate sector involving other DaimlerChrysler brands.
Mercedes-Benz international fleet sales senior manager Jens Israng told Fleet News Europe, at its fleet launch in Valencia, Spain: 'In 2001, selling 18,000 E-class into the executive car parks of corporate fleets and 10,000 into the luxury daily rental segments in Western Europe, we reached our ambitious fleet objectives.
'With the new E-class, Mercedes-Benz wants to increase its corporate sales volume considerably in the growing segment of high-value user-chooser fleets. At the same time, we will serve the daily rental industry by offering them a prestigious car for their top rental customers within the executive programmes.
'By constantly expanding our key account management operations in all major European countries, DaimlerChrysler proves its belief in the corporate market.
'Not only for the Mercedes-Benz brand, but also for smart, Chrysler and Jeep, this segment offers potential for growth.' Israng added that by aligning the fleet operations for all four brands 'we will create a unique customer offer to serve virtually all fleet needs, from the two-seater city coupe to SUVs and roadsters'.
And of the Mercedes-Benz dedicated fleet website, which can be accessed at www.mercedes-benz.com/fleet_sales, Israng said: 'Our refreshed internet site will contribute to this success, it displays our fleet services and passenger car product range and gives customers and prospects the chance to contact our key account contacts in all markets online.'
The new E-class is the result of 48 months of development time and an investment totalling more than 2 billion Euros. It celebrated its world premier at the Brussels Motor Show in January this year and went on sale throughout Europe in March.
Mercedes-Benz says that, as with its successful predecessor, it 'continues to demonstrate its worldwide technological leadership' with the new E-class.
'This saloon redefines the standards in the automotive luxury class and assumes an exemplary position in all major engineering disciplines.'
Commenting on the new E-class, Professor Jurgen Hubbert, board member, Passenger Cars - Mercedes-Benz and smart, said: 'For many people all over the world, the E-class exemplifies the values that they associate with Mercedes-Benz: quality, longevity, safety and comfort. Some consider it is the saloon bar none.
'For us, the new E-class is the heart of the Mercedes brand. With average annual sales topping the 200,000 mark, the E-class is the best-selling executive saloon in the world.'
Hubbert added: 'Every generation of the E-class to date has proved to be an automotive milestone. In 1995 we showed the shape of things to come by introducing the E-class 'twin-headlamp' face. Now, you are familiar with the design, and the world sees the Mercedes with different eyes.
As one would expect, the new E-class will once more send out a clear signal.' And Dr Joachim Schmidt, divisional board member responsible for Sales and Marketing at Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars, said: 'With the new E-class, we aim to further expand our market share in a segment that is only experiencing moderate growth and once again increase volumes by about 10%.'
The new E-class will initially come with five engines - three petrol and two CDI diesels. In the future, it will extend the range with a new supercharged four-cylinder petrol unit and further CDIs with four, six and eight cylinders.
For further details visit www.mercedes-benz.com/fleet_sales