In life, we have many dreams and aspirations of what we would like to become when we are older. These dreams guide our paths and give us some direction to what it is that we want to do with the rest of our lives. These aspirations will either push us to become better and be better or will push us in a whole different direction than what we planned.  A great example of someone who has been through this journey is the very first guest on The AutoBiography, Mark Raine, Co-CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa.

Who is Mark Raine

Mark is a big lover of running and cycling and experiencing different countries and cultures. He was born in Berlin but grew up in South Africa, where he matriculated. After matriculating he moved to Germany where his journey started at Mercedes-Benz. 

His aspiration was not to become the CEO of Mercedes-Benz but to simply travel the world – something he has since achieved whilst working at Mercedes-Benz. Mark has had the opportunity of working in many different countries like Stuttgart, Malaysia, Korea and South Africa to name a few. 

The journey to becoming the C0-CEO of Mercedes-Benz

Mark Raine did not plan to become CEO but his passion to make a difference and be successful is what ultimately led him to become the CEO of Mercedes-Benz. Starting off as an Executive Assistant, Mark later became the Vice President (VP) for the Sales and Marketing department in Malaysia and South East Asia with a regional hub in Kuala Lumpur, which was by the way his favourite job at that point in his career. 

Once his job was done in Korea, Mark received a call to come back to South Africa to become the CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa. 

Future of EVs for Mercedes-Benz South Africa

The Mercedes-Benz brand identifies itself as a blend of luxury, sporty and performance cars in the industry. Mark has confirmed that the brand is not just about delivering luxury but it’s also about the product. The product’s substance is its quality and the brand is its customer service – everything which has to do with a customer. Therefore looking at the product, it has always been top of mind for Mark in any market he’s been acting in. This is why Mark felt a deep need for electric vehicles (EVs) in the South African market. 

Currently, Mercedes-Benz has four EVs in the market, the EQA, EQB, EQC and the EQS.

However, there is a new EV coming into the market later this year which Mark reveals in the video. 

South Africa in terms of the EV revolution had around 300 EVs on our roads last year. This provides an opportunity for the future development of EVs in South Africa. Mark also reveals in the conversation that Mercedes-Benz’s direction towards electric vehicles is moving in the same direction as most companies, which is, the discontinuation of internal combustion engines (ICE) and will only be producing EVs post-2030. 

The “agency” car dealership Model 

Mark says Mercedes Benz pioneered the Agency Model in South Africa, it was a bold step but has now become a pilot step for the very first time in South Africa for Mercedes-Benz. The reason for the pilot being done in South Africa is due to the fact that South Africa has a lot of world presence even though it’s not the biggest market. Our South African consumers and dealerships are agile and have a way of adapting to new forms, new ways, new paths and new technology.

The future business model for Mercedes-Benz is suitable in order to transform how business is done. Fast forwarding five years, Mercedes-Benz can foresee a positive response from both the automotive network and consumers. 

Many great insights came out of this fireside conversation with Mark Raine including lessons, understanding his path and tips that we can take from him for our daily lives.