Stuttgart, Germany
Stuttgart, Germany

Mercedes-Benz is a German automobile manufacturer, a multinational division of the German manufacturer Daimler AG. The brand is used for luxury automobiles, buses, coaches, and trucks. The headquarters of Mercedes-Benz is in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.The name first appeared in 1926 under Daimler-Benz but traces its origins to Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft's 1901 Mercedes and to Karl Benz's 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen, which is widely regarded as the first gasoline powered automobile. Mercedes-Benz's slogan is "Das Beste oder nichts" . Mercedes-Benz is part of the "German Big 3" luxury automakers, along with Audi and BMW, which are the best selling luxury automakers in the world. Wikipedia.


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News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

On June 10th, renowned Mexican fashion designer Raquel Orozco will introduce her Resort 2017 collection at the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit. The designer, who showcased her FW17 collection at this year's Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Mexico City, is the designer of choice for many celebrities and dignitaries. Orozco will be on hand to meet with resort guests and assist with styling throughout the evening. The runway show kicks off a four-week pop-up shop of her designs onsite at the resort which will include a selection of garments for sale from her new collection, sketches and an exhibit on her work in the industry. Resort rates start at $398 per person per night, based on double occupancy. The Grand Velas resort’s all-inclusive rates include luxury accommodations, a la carte gourmet meals at a variety of specialty restaurants, premium branded beverages, 24-hour in-suite service, taxes, gratuity and more. Spa treatments are an additional cost. For reservations or more information, call 1-888- 407-4869, email reservations(at)velasresorts.com or visit http://vallarta.grandvelas.com/. About Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit: Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, a Leading Hotel of the World, enjoys a privileged natural setting with flowering, landscaped gardens beside a long stretch of pristine beach and a dramatic backdrop of the Sierra Madre Mountains. The centerpiece of the gardens is a three-tiered infinity pool, a preferred spot for catching the legendary sunsets. The AAA Five Diamond all-inclusive resort features 267 ocean-view suites, some with private plunge pools, and all with plasma TVs, wireless internet access, fully stocked mini bar, L’Occitane amenities and Nespresso machines. New Wellness Suites include a personal training session and massage in-suite in addition to other fitness amenities, such as a Lifecycle Exercise Bike, organic soaps, an Alchimia Apothecary Aromatherapy Kit, a Nikken Kenko pillow and comforter, and LED lamp with a clock and timer. Of the resort’s five restaurants, three, serving French, Italian and Mexican gourmet cuisine, have received AAA Four Diamond awards for distinguished cuisine and presentation. An oasis of wellbeing, the resort’s Leading Spa of the World offers 20 treatment suites, more than 30 spa treatments, many inspired by the native traditions of Mexico and a signature water journey. Other features include a fitness center, 24/7 in suite service, water sports, business center, tennis, baby concierge, Kids Club, and teen lounge during holidays. Puerto Vallarta is just a 15-minute drive away. Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit features more than 25,000 square feet of indoor meeting facilities, including the Grand Marissa Ballroom, which consists of more than 6,000 square feet and is easily subdivided into five separate rooms. The resort’s facilities also include four other rooms ranging from 681 to more than 1,954 square feet that offer several arrangement variations to maximize meeting productivity and efficiency. The resort has won numerous awards from Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, TripAdvisor, U.S. News and World Report and Forbes, which named it one of the Top Ten Coolest All-Inclusive in 2012. Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit was built and is operated by Eduardo Vela Ruiz, owner, founder and president of Velas Resorts, with brother Juan Vela by his side, vice president of Velas Resorts.


News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: marketersmedia.com

WASHINGTON, DC / ACCESSWIRE / May 11, 2017 / Veterans of the marketing industry know that customer engagement is the number one essential component of any successful business development effort, brand promotion, or sales strategy. Advertising campaigns, sales promotions, and reward programs may get customers through the door, but customer interaction is the catalyst that drives organic growth and, ultimately, long-term profits and brand loyalty. Many companies will put considerable time and capital into hosting an event, only to fail at executing a holistic strategy that fully realizes their return on that investment. Brad Nierenberg, the Founder and CEO of RedPeg Marketing - a national award-winning experiential marketing agency with a client list that includes such companies as Warner Bros., Twitter, Verizon, Geico, and Mercedes Benz, among others - has earned a reputation for being a guru of customer engagement through his use of a number of key tactics that substantially boost organic growth. "Executing an event without a strategy on how it will be amplified on Social Media is leaving money on the table. Unless you create and execute a strategy to extend the event beyond the actual activity itself," says Brad Nierenberg. "Physical attendance is not the only metric that matters when evaluating an event's success. Other key indicators include how many people shared the event and brand experience on social media; how many opted to take a sample; how many leads were generated; and how many perceptions were changed about the brand your marking, how many consumers now will consider the brand. Today consumers are being bombarded with brand messages to the tune of 3,000 a day, getting your brand on the targeted consumers menu when it wasn't considered before is a success. Nierenberg advises that the best foundation for starting a strategy of long-term customer engagement is by digitally capturing information on-site. In the old days, this usually meant consumers, brand ambassadors, and event staff quickly scribbling with pen and paper filling out entry cards, but today, data is able to be gathered quickly and effectively with the use of an ipad and software programs that allow a simple slide/scan of a drivers license. Further digital preparations include making certain that Google Analytics is ready to go on the event's microsite to help track online engagement, as well as encouraging visitors to fill out a form which will offer another opportunity to re-engage them. Lastly is tracking and re-engagement. RedPeg has long emphasized that the effective tail of experiential marketing is much longer than other marketing mediums and can be utilized for years. "We track years of sales history for our clients to show this," says Nierenberg. "An example would be our work with Chevrolet, where we executed events that engaged 60,000 people in 1 market. We tracked who of those 60K people bought cars over the next 2 years and found that the 60,000 people who went through our experiences that bought cars, bought twice the market share of Chevrolet; Effectively demonstrating that engaging people at events put Chevrolet on a higher consideration set than the average consumer digesting the same marketing messages via traditional tactics." After the event, have a plan to interact with customers that attended, whether it's an email follow up, calls to new leads, or requests for survey feedback, sending a photo experience. Also have a digital amplification plan to connect not only with the attendees, but their friends and associates who did not attend. With the goal of having them share the event with others, consider additional social media strategies which may be as simple as using Facebook Live to post the event and expand the potential for likes, shares and other online activities. Brad Nierenberg launched RedPeg Marketing in 1995, with the philosophy that, "People forget what you say. People forget what you do. They remember how you make them feel." The company is a leader in creating exciting, large-scale interactive marketing experiences, with more than 2,500 events produced in 2015 alone. Their collection of professionals assist companies in finding innovative ways to connect people and brands in a world with increasing marketing noise. WASHINGTON, DC / ACCESSWIRE / May 11, 2017 / Veterans of the marketing industry know that customer engagement is the number one essential component of any successful business development effort, brand promotion, or sales strategy. Advertising campaigns, sales promotions, and reward programs may get customers through the door, but customer interaction is the catalyst that drives organic growth and, ultimately, long-term profits and brand loyalty. Many companies will put considerable time and capital into hosting an event, only to fail at executing a holistic strategy that fully realizes their return on that investment. Brad Nierenberg, the Founder and CEO of RedPeg Marketing - a national award-winning experiential marketing agency with a client list that includes such companies as Warner Bros., Twitter, Verizon, Geico, and Mercedes Benz, among others - has earned a reputation for being a guru of customer engagement through his use of a number of key tactics that substantially boost organic growth. "Executing an event without a strategy on how it will be amplified on Social Media is leaving money on the table. Unless you create and execute a strategy to extend the event beyond the actual activity itself," says Brad Nierenberg. "Physical attendance is not the only metric that matters when evaluating an event's success. Other key indicators include how many people shared the event and brand experience on social media; how many opted to take a sample; how many leads were generated; and how many perceptions were changed about the brand your marking, how many consumers now will consider the brand. Today consumers are being bombarded with brand messages to the tune of 3,000 a day, getting your brand on the targeted consumers menu when it wasn't considered before is a success. Nierenberg advises that the best foundation for starting a strategy of long-term customer engagement is by digitally capturing information on-site. In the old days, this usually meant consumers, brand ambassadors, and event staff quickly scribbling with pen and paper filling out entry cards, but today, data is able to be gathered quickly and effectively with the use of an ipad and software programs that allow a simple slide/scan of a drivers license. Further digital preparations include making certain that Google Analytics is ready to go on the event's microsite to help track online engagement, as well as encouraging visitors to fill out a form which will offer another opportunity to re-engage them. Lastly is tracking and re-engagement. RedPeg has long emphasized that the effective tail of experiential marketing is much longer than other marketing mediums and can be utilized for years. "We track years of sales history for our clients to show this," says Nierenberg. "An example would be our work with Chevrolet, where we executed events that engaged 60,000 people in 1 market. We tracked who of those 60K people bought cars over the next 2 years and found that the 60,000 people who went through our experiences that bought cars, bought twice the market share of Chevrolet; Effectively demonstrating that engaging people at events put Chevrolet on a higher consideration set than the average consumer digesting the same marketing messages via traditional tactics." After the event, have a plan to interact with customers that attended, whether it's an email follow up, calls to new leads, or requests for survey feedback, sending a photo experience. Also have a digital amplification plan to connect not only with the attendees, but their friends and associates who did not attend. With the goal of having them share the event with others, consider additional social media strategies which may be as simple as using Facebook Live to post the event and expand the potential for likes, shares and other online activities. Brad Nierenberg launched RedPeg Marketing in 1995, with the philosophy that, "People forget what you say. People forget what you do. They remember how you make them feel." The company is a leader in creating exciting, large-scale interactive marketing experiences, with more than 2,500 events produced in 2015 alone. Their collection of professionals assist companies in finding innovative ways to connect people and brands in a world with increasing marketing noise.


News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.accesswire.com

WASHINGTON, DC / ACCESSWIRE / May 11, 2017 / Veterans of the marketing industry know that customer engagement is the number one essential component of any successful business development effort, brand promotion, or sales strategy. Advertising campaigns, sales promotions, and reward programs may get customers through the door, but customer interaction is the catalyst that drives organic growth and, ultimately, long-term profits and brand loyalty. Many companies will put considerable time and capital into hosting an event, only to fail at executing a holistic strategy that fully realizes their return on that investment. Brad Nierenberg, the Founder and CEO of RedPeg Marketing - a national award-winning experiential marketing agency with a client list that includes such companies as Warner Bros., Twitter, Verizon, Geico, and Mercedes Benz, among others - has earned a reputation for being a guru of customer engagement through his use of a number of key tactics that substantially boost organic growth. "Executing an event without a strategy on how it will be amplified on Social Media is leaving money on the table. Unless you create and execute a strategy to extend the event beyond the actual activity itself," says Brad Nierenberg. "Physical attendance is not the only metric that matters when evaluating an event's success. Other key indicators include how many people shared the event and brand experience on social media; how many opted to take a sample; how many leads were generated; and how many perceptions were changed about the brand your marking, how many consumers now will consider the brand. Today consumers are being bombarded with brand messages to the tune of 3,000 a day, getting your brand on the targeted consumers menu when it wasn't considered before is a success. Nierenberg advises that the best foundation for starting a strategy of long-term customer engagement is by digitally capturing information on-site. In the old days, this usually meant consumers, brand ambassadors, and event staff quickly scribbling with pen and paper filling out entry cards, but today, data is able to be gathered quickly and effectively with the use of an ipad and software programs that allow a simple slide/scan of a drivers license. Further digital preparations include making certain that Google Analytics is ready to go on the event's microsite to help track online engagement, as well as encouraging visitors to fill out a form which will offer another opportunity to re-engage them. Lastly is tracking and re-engagement. RedPeg has long emphasized that the effective tail of experiential marketing is much longer than other marketing mediums and can be utilized for years. "We track years of sales history for our clients to show this," says Nierenberg. "An example would be our work with Chevrolet, where we executed events that engaged 60,000 people in 1 market. We tracked who of those 60K people bought cars over the next 2 years and found that the 60,000 people who went through our experiences that bought cars, bought twice the market share of Chevrolet; Effectively demonstrating that engaging people at events put Chevrolet on a higher consideration set than the average consumer digesting the same marketing messages via traditional tactics." After the event, have a plan to interact with customers that attended, whether it's an email follow up, calls to new leads, or requests for survey feedback, sending a photo experience. Also have a digital amplification plan to connect not only with the attendees, but their friends and associates who did not attend. With the goal of having them share the event with others, consider additional social media strategies which may be as simple as using Facebook Live to post the event and expand the potential for likes, shares and other online activities. Brad Nierenberg launched RedPeg Marketing in 1995, with the philosophy that, "People forget what you say. People forget what you do. They remember how you make them feel." The company is a leader in creating exciting, large-scale interactive marketing experiences, with more than 2,500 events produced in 2015 alone. Their collection of professionals assist companies in finding innovative ways to connect people and brands in a world with increasing marketing noise.


"We are pleased to report our first quarter 2017 results as they reflect our strong operating capabilities as well as the results of our strategic initiatives.  Our domestic sales showed favorable year-over-year comparisons as we continued to enter new geographic markets.  Our high value-added products enable better safety and performance features for our automobile manufacturing customers and have wide applications in numerous verticals as well.  However, a contraction in our gross margin occurred in the quarter due to a lower gross margin from higher-end products sold in the domestic market and an increase in cost of goods sold resulting from increased depreciation attributable to the expansion of our Sichuan campus. In terms of our international sales, we suspended overseas sales to an international customer due to an account receivable balance overdue situation which will be resumed once the agreed upon terms for payment are met and all overdue balances are collected," said Jie Han, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer. "After a strong year in 2016, we are beginning to see moderating industry fundamentals in our sector. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reports that the growth of auto sales in China slowed in 2017 to date, affected by both the holidays and the Chinese government's restriction on the implementation of the favorable tax deductions for small engine cars. While we anticipate slower growth as compared to last year, we believe that our broad and deep product platform, new geographical positioning and expanding production capabilities will enable us to capture market share from our competitors and maintain solid profitability." Mr. Han continued, "We continued to see significant revenue contributions from new growth regions in the first quarter, augmented by the continued ramp of our Sichuan manufacturing facility. Sales in the South China and the Central China regions increased 104.2% and 50.2%, respectively, from the same period in 2016, and our presence in the region has enabled us to secure new customers and improved market penetration. Our Sichuan facility now has 50 production lines with 216,000 metric tons of annual production capacity. The Sichuan facility will ultimately add 300,000 metric tons of annual production to our domestic capacity for a total domestic capacity of 690,000 metric tons.  We expect that construction at the complex will be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2017.  Although we expect that automotive applications will continue to be our core business, high precision equipment in our new facilities will enable us to diversify our product platform to serve an array of high-growth verticals which will help to propel the Company's growth." "We are also pleased that our strategic plan to develop diversified products has gained significant traction with the signing of a definitive agreement with the People's Government of Shunqing District, Nanchong City of Sichuan Province for the production of 300,000 metric tons of bio-composite materials and additive manufacturing and 20,000 metric tons of functional masterbatch.  The project will add 320,000 metric tons of production capacity and we will also benefit from the favorable tax policies under China's 'Go West Campaign' by locating the project in Southwest China." "Our new facility in Dubai also extends our specialized high-tech products into an important overseas market. We plan to complete the installation of 45 production lines with 12,000 metric tons of annual production capacity by the first quarter of 2018, and to complete the installation of an additional 50 production lines with 13,000 metric tons of annual production capacity by the second quarter of 2018.  This will bring the total annual production capacity in our Dubai facility to 25,000 metric tons. The Dubai facility will target high-end products for overseas markets and will ultimately enable more active inroads into the markets of Europe, the Middle East, Russia and other overseas markets." "We believe that our increased production capabilities, new product offerings and a more diversified customer base form a solid platform which will enable sustainable corporate growth.  In addition, our strategic geographical expansion leverages our technical expertise and customer-centric philosophy.  Further, our product diversification is reflective of both our industry leadership in China's auto market and the growing demand of high technology sectors as driven by China's new economy.  We reiterate our financial guidance for fiscal 2017 and continue to appreciate the support of our shareholders and all of our stakeholders," Mr. Han concluded. Revenues were $237.8 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to $215.0 million for the same period of 2016, representing an increase of $22.8 million, or 10.6%.  The year-over-year increase was primarily due to an 11.3% increase in sales volume and a 4.8% increase in the average RMB selling price of our products. The increase in revenues in the first quarter of 2017 was driven by growth in demand for our products in the domestic China market, our efforts to expand our customer base attributable to our new plant in Sichuan and our efforts to increase overseas sales.  We recorded sales increases of 104.2% in South China, 50.2% in Central China, 30.2% in Southwest China and 14.2% in North China as compared to the same period in 2016. In 2017, overseas sales were suspended due to an accounts receivable balance overdue situation with an existing overseas customer. On April 1, 2017, the Company and the overseas customer reached an agreement on the credit payment method and product refining costs. We expect to resume sales to this overseas customer after retrieving all previous overdue payments from this customer in the second quarter of 2017. The customer has made a payment of $41.0 million in the first quarter of 2017 and has an unpaid balance of $33.6 million to date. Premium products (PA66, PA6, Plastic Alloy, PLA, POM and PPO) in total accounted for 81.3% of revenues in the first quarter of 2017, compared to 77.3% for the same period of 2016. The Company continued to shift its production mix from traditional polymer materials to higher-end products due to (i) the greater growth potential of advanced modified plastics in luxury automobile models in China, (ii) the stronger demand for higher-end products as a result of the Chinese government's promotion for clean energy vehicles, and (iii) better end consumer recognition of higher-end cars made by automotive manufacturers from Chinese and Germany joint ventures, and U.S. and Japanese joint ventures, where manufacturers tend to use more and higher-end modified plastics in quantity per vehicle in China. Gross profit was $34.8 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to $34.8 million for the same period of 2016, representing a stable period to period comparison.  Gross margin was 14.6% for the first quarter of 2017, compared to 16.2% for the same period of 2016, primarily due the lower gross margin of higher-end products sold in the domestic market in the current period as compared to the same period in 2016. General and administrative (G&A) expenses were $7.1 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to $5.1 million for the same period of 2016, representing an increase of $2.0 million, or 39.2%.  This increase was primarily due to the increases in salary and welfare expenses, due to the increase in the number of management and general staff. Research and development (R&D) expenses were $5.9 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to $4.9 million for the same period of 2016, representing an increase of $1.0 million, or 20.4%. This increase was primarily due to (i) elevated R&D activities to meet the higher quality requirements of potential customers from Europe, (ii) increased R&D efforts directed towards applications in new electrical equipment, electronics, alternative energy applications, power devices, aviation equipment and ocean engineering, in addition to other new products primarily for advanced industrialized applications in the automobile sector and in new verticals such as ships, airplanes, high-speed rail, 3D printing materials, biodegradable plastics and medical, and (iii) an increase in depreciation expenses after R&D equipment was put into use at Sichuan Enterprise Group Company Limited ("Sichuan Xinda"). As of March 31, 2017, the number of ongoing research and development projects was 255. Operating income was $21.3 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to $24.5 million for the same period of 2016, representing a decrease of $3.2 million, or 13.1%. This decrease was primarily due to higher G&A expenses and higher R&D expenses. Net interest expense was $8.8 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to net interest expense of $9.3 million for the same period of 2016, representing a decrease of $0.5 million, or 5.4%. This decrease was primarily due to (i) the increase of average deposit balance in amount of $485.3 million for the first quarter of 2017 compared to $360.8 million for the same period in 2016, (ii) a decrease of interest expense due to a decrease in the average interest rate to 4.8% for the first quarter of 2017 compared to 5.8% for the same period in 2016, partially offset by (iii) a decrease of interest income resulting from a decrease in the average interest rate to 1.2% for the first quarter compared to 1.7% of the same period in 2016, and (iv) an increase in the average short-term and long-term loan balance of $785.4 million for the first quarter of 2017 compared to $415.9 million for the same period in 2016. Income tax expense was $3.6 million for the first quarter of 2017, representing an effective income tax rate of 26.4%, compared to income tax expense of $4.5 million in the same period of 2016, representing an effective income tax rate of 28.5%. The effective income tax rate for the three-month period ended March 31, 2017 differs from the People's Republic of China (PRC) statutory income tax rate of 25% primarily due to (i) the consolidated income before income taxes for the current quarter decreased due to the operating losses of entities not subject to income tax, and (ii) non-deductible expenses in the PRC operating entities, which were partially offset by (iii) the additional deduction of R&D for the major PRC operating entities; and (iv) Sichuan Xinda's preferential income tax rate. Net income was $9.9 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to $11.4 million for the same period of 2016, representing a decrease of $1.5 million, or 13.2%. Basic and diluted earnings per share in the current quarter were $0.15, compared to $0.17 per basic and diluted share for the same period of 2016.  The average number of shares used in the computation of basic and diluted earnings per share current quarter was 49.5 million, compared to 49.4 million shares for basic and diluted earnings per share in the prior year period. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was $34.0 million for the first quarter of 2017, virtually unchanged from EBITDA of $33.9 million for the same period of 2016.  For a detailed reconciliation of EBITDA, a non-GAAP measure, to its nearest GAAP equivalent, please see the financial tables at the end of this release. As of March 31, 2017, the Company had $57.7 million in cash and cash equivalents, $77.8 million in time deposits with commercial banks, negative working capital of $179.8 million (current assets minus current liabilities) and a current ratio (current assets divided by current liabilities) of 0.8 as compared to 1.2 as of December 31, 2016. The decrease in the current ratio was primarily because the Company's cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash and time deposits decreased by 37.8%, and short-term loans increased by 43.4% for the increased prepayment obligations to equipment suppliers for the Company's new Nanchong Project (see Recent Events, below).  Stockholders' equity as of March 31, 2017 was $648.2 million compared to $634.3 million as of December 31, 2016. Inventories increased by 30.9% to $367.7 million as of the first quarter of 2017 as compared to fiscal year end 2016 as a result of more purchases of raw materials and the Company's strategy to stock up on finished goods for upcoming orders. Prepayment to equipment suppliers increased by 2,583.1% mainly because of advances to purchases for the new Nanchong Project.  The aggregate short-term and long-term bank loans increased by 18.9% due to the utilization of existing lines of credit to support the expansion of the Sichuan and Dubai facilities.  We define the manageable debt level as the sum of aggregate short-term and long-term loans, and notes payable over total assets.  We expect that we will be able to meet our needs to fund operations, capital expenditures and other commitments in the next 12 months primarily with our cash and cash equivalents, operating cash flows and bank borrowings. On March 18, 2017, the Company issued a press release announcing the official signing of an agreement with the People's Government of Shunqing District, Nanchong City, Sichuan Province, for the production of 300,000 metric tons of bio-composite materials and additive manufacturing and 20,000 metric tons of functional masterbatch (the "Nanchong Project").  After initial approval by the Board of Directors and the Company's major investor on December 8, 2016, Sichuan Xinda entered into a strategic investment agreement with Shunqing Government, Nanchong City, Sichuan Province, on December 12, 2016.  Due to the uncertainty of securing the necessary land use rights for the project, the Company waited until March 13, 2017 and entered into a "Land Use Right Transfer Agreement" with the government agency, formalizing its initial dialogue, and entered into a definitive agreement after approval by the Board of Directors and its major shareholder. The Nanchong Project will be located in a land area of 250 mu (equivalent to 41.2 acres), where 215 mu will be designated for bio-composite materials and additive manufacturing production and 35 mu will be designated for functional masterbatch production. The projected total capital expenditures for the project is approximately 2.5 billion RMB (estimated to be $357 million) and the anticipated completion will take place by the end of December 2018. The Nanchong Project will add 320,000 metric tons of production capacity and the Company will also benefit from favorable tax policies under China's 'Go West Campaign' by locating the project in Southwest China. On February 17, 2017, the Company issued a press release announcing that its Board of Directors (the "Board") has received a preliminary non-binding proposal letter, dated February 16, 2017, from its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Jie Han ("Mr. Han"), XD Engineering Plastics Company Limited ("XD Engineering"), a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and wholly owned by Mr. Han, and MSPEA Modified Plastics Holding Limited, an affiliate of Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia III, Inc. (collectively, the "Buyer Consortium"), to acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of the Company not already beneficially owned by the Buyer Consortium in a "going-private" transaction (the "Transaction") for $5.21 per share of common stock in cash.  The proposal letter states that the Buyer Consortium expects that the Board will appoint a special committee of independent directors to consider the proposal and make a recommendation to the Board.  The proposal letter also states that the Buyer Consortium will not move forward with the proposed Transaction unless it is approved by such a special committee, and the proposed Transaction will be subject to a non-waivable condition requiring approval by majority shareholder vote of shareholders other than the Buyer Consortium members.  The Buyer Consortium currently beneficially owns approximately 74% of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock of the Company on a fully diluted and as-converted basis. The Board has established a special committee (the "Special Committee") of disinterested directors to consider the proposal.  The Special Committee is composed of the following independent directors of the Company: Mr. Lawrence W. Leighton, Mr. Feng Li, and Mr. Linyuan Zha, with Mr. Leighton serving as chairperson of the Special Committee.  The Special Committee will be responsible for evaluating, negotiating and recommending to the Board any proposals involving a strategic transaction by the Company with one or more third parties.  The Special Committee intends to retain advisors, including an independent financial advisor, to assist in the evaluation of the proposal and any additional proposals that may be made by the Buyer Consortium. The Special Committee cautions the Company's shareholders and others considering trading in its securities that the Special Committee has not made any decisions with respect to the Company's response to the proposal.  There can be no assurance that any definitive offer will be made by the Buyer Consortium or any other person, that any definitive agreement will be executed relating to the proposed Transaction, or that this or any other transaction will be approved or consummated. The Company reiterates its financial guidance for fiscal 2017 with revenue to range between $1.2 billion and $1.3 billion, and net income to range between $85.0 million to $100.0 million. This is based on the anticipation of a continued recovery throughout the Chinese automotive supply chain and a stabilization of crude oil pricing and its impact on polymer composite materials in 2017. This forecast also assumes additional contributions from the Sichuan facility and that overseas sales will be resumed in the second half of 2017.  It also assumes the average exchange rate of the US dollar to RMB at 6.8 and that the Company will incur interest expenses for loan term loans and short term loans. This financial guidance reflects the Company's preliminary view of its business outlook for the fiscal year of 2017 and is subject to revision based on changing market conditions at any time. China XD Plastics' senior management will host a conference call at 9:00 am Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, to discuss its first quarter 2017 financial results.  The conference call can be accessed by dialing +1 (855) 298-3404 (for callers in the U.S.), +86-4001-200-539 (for Mainland China callers) or +852 5808 3202 (for Hong Kong callers) and entering pass code 5959925. A recording of the conference call will be available through May 17, 2017, by calling +1 (866) 846-0868 (for callers in the U.S.) and entering pass code 5959925. A live webcast and replay of the conference call will be available on the investor relations page of the Company's website at http://www.chinaxd.net. China XD Plastics Company Limited, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and sells polymer composites materials, primarily for automotive applications. The Company's products are used in the exterior and interior trim and in the functional components of 29 automobile brands manufactured in China, including without limitation, AUDI, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Toyota, Buick, Chevrolet, Mazda, Volvo, Ford, Citroen, Jinbei and VW Passat, Golf, Jetta, etc. The Company's wholly-owned research center is dedicated to the research and development of polymer composites materials and benefits from its cooperation with well-known scientists from prestigious universities in China. As of March 31, 2017, 410 of the Company's products have been certified for use by one or more of the automobile manufacturers in China. For more information, please visit the Company's English website at http://www.chinaxd.net, and the Chinese website at http://www.xdholding.com. This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact in this announcement are forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, the Company's growth potential in international markets; the effectiveness and profitability of the Company's product diversification strategy; the impact of the Company's product mix shift to more advanced products and related pricing policies;  the effectiveness, profitability, and the marketability of its the ongoing mix shift to more advanced products; the prospects of the Company's Dubai facility, and the associated expansion into Middle East, Europe and other parts of Asia; the prospects of the Company's Sichuan facility, and its penetration into Southwest China; the Company's projections of its revenues for performance in fiscal 2017.   These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "expect," "project," "anticipate," "forecast," "plan," "believe," "estimate" and similar statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties and are based on current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections about the Company and the industry. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the global economic uncertainty could further impair the automotive industry and limit demand for our products; fluctuations in automotive sales and production could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and liquidity; our financial performance may be affected by the prospect of our Dubai facility and the associated expansion into Middle East, Europe and other parts of Asia; the withdrawal of preferential government policies and the tightening control over the Chinese automotive industry and automobile purchase restrictions imposed in certain major cities may limit market demand for our products; the slowing of Chinese automotive industry's growth; the concentration of our distributors, customers and suppliers; and other risks detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available on its website at http://www.sec.gov. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent occurring events or circumstances, or to changes in its expectations, except as may be required by law.  Although the Company believes that the expectations expressed in these forward looking statements are reasonable, it cannot assure you that its expectations will turn out to be correct, and investors are cautioned that actual results may differ materially from the anticipated results. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/specialty-chemical-company-china-xd-plastics-announces-first-quarter-2017-financial-results-300454809.html


- Reiterating Fiscal 2017 Guidance of $1.2 - $1.3 Billion in Revenue, $85.0 - $100.0 Million in Net Income - HARBIN, China, May 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- China XD Plastics Company Limited (NASDAQ: CXDC) ("China XD Plastics" or the "Company"), one of China's leading specialty chemical companies engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of polymer composite materials primarily for automotive applications, today announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. "We are pleased to report our first quarter 2017 results as they reflect our strong operating capabilities as well as the results of our strategic initiatives.  Our domestic sales showed favorable year-over-year comparisons as we continued to enter new geographic markets.  Our high value-added products enable better safety and performance features for our automobile manufacturing customers and have wide applications in numerous verticals as well.  However, a contraction in our gross margin occurred in the quarter due to a lower gross margin from higher-end products sold in the domestic market and an increase in cost of goods sold resulting from increased depreciation attributable to the expansion of our Sichuan campus. In terms of our international sales, we suspended overseas sales to an international customer due to an account receivable balance overdue situation which will be resumed once the agreed upon terms for payment are met and all overdue balances are collected," said Jie Han, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer. "After a strong year in 2016, we are beginning to see moderating industry fundamentals in our sector. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reports that the growth of auto sales in China slowed in 2017 to date, affected by both the holidays and the Chinese government's restriction on the implementation of the favorable tax deductions for small engine cars. While we anticipate slower growth as compared to last year, we believe that our broad and deep product platform, new geographical positioning and expanding production capabilities will enable us to capture market share from our competitors and maintain solid profitability." Mr. Han continued, "We continued to see significant revenue contributions from new growth regions in the first quarter, augmented by the continued ramp of our Sichuan manufacturing facility. Sales in the South China and the Central China regions increased 104.2% and 50.2%, respectively, from the same period in 2016, and our presence in the region has enabled us to secure new customers and improved market penetration. Our Sichuan facility now has 50 production lines with 216,000 metric tons of annual production capacity. The Sichuan facility will ultimately add 300,000 metric tons of annual production to our domestic capacity for a total domestic capacity of 690,000 metric tons.  We expect that construction at the complex will be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2017.  Although we expect that automotive applications will continue to be our core business, high precision equipment in our new facilities will enable us to diversify our product platform to serve an array of high-growth verticals which will help to propel the Company's growth." "We are also pleased that our strategic plan to develop diversified products has gained significant traction with the signing of a definitive agreement with the People's Government of Shunqing District, Nanchong City of Sichuan Province for the production of 300,000 metric tons of bio-composite materials and additive manufacturing and 20,000 metric tons of functional masterbatch.  The project will add 320,000 metric tons of production capacity and we will also benefit from the favorable tax policies under China's 'Go West Campaign' by locating the project in Southwest China." "Our new facility in Dubai also extends our specialized high-tech products into an important overseas market. We plan to complete the installation of 45 production lines with 12,000 metric tons of annual production capacity by the first quarter of 2018, and to complete the installation of an additional 50 production lines with 13,000 metric tons of annual production capacity by the second quarter of 2018.  This will bring the total annual production capacity in our Dubai facility to 25,000 metric tons. The Dubai facility will target high-end products for overseas markets and will ultimately enable more active inroads into the markets of Europe, the Middle East, Russia and other overseas markets." "We believe that our increased production capabilities, new product offerings and a more diversified customer base form a solid platform which will enable sustainable corporate growth.  In addition, our strategic geographical expansion leverages our technical expertise and customer-centric philosophy.  Further, our product diversification is reflective of both our industry leadership in China's auto market and the growing demand of high technology sectors as driven by China's new economy.  We reiterate our financial guidance for fiscal 2017 and continue to appreciate the support of our shareholders and all of our stakeholders," Mr. Han concluded. Revenues were $237.8 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to $215.0 million for the same period of 2016, representing an increase of $22.8 million, or 10.6%.  The year-over-year increase was primarily due to an 11.3% increase in sales volume and a 4.8% increase in the average RMB selling price of our products. The increase in revenues in the first quarter of 2017 was driven by growth in demand for our products in the domestic China market, our efforts to expand our customer base attributable to our new plant in Sichuan and our efforts to increase overseas sales.  We recorded sales increases of 104.2% in South China, 50.2% in Central China, 30.2% in Southwest China and 14.2% in North China as compared to the same period in 2016. In 2017, overseas sales were suspended due to an accounts receivable balance overdue situation with an existing overseas customer. On April 1, 2017, the Company and the overseas customer reached an agreement on the credit payment method and product refining costs. We expect to resume sales to this overseas customer after retrieving all previous overdue payments from this customer in the second quarter of 2017. The customer has made a payment of $41.0 million in the first quarter of 2017 and has an unpaid balance of $33.6 million to date. Premium products (PA66, PA6, Plastic Alloy, PLA, POM and PPO) in total accounted for 81.3% of revenues in the first quarter of 2017, compared to 77.3% for the same period of 2016. The Company continued to shift its production mix from traditional polymer materials to higher-end products due to (i) the greater growth potential of advanced modified plastics in luxury automobile models in China, (ii) the stronger demand for higher-end products as a result of the Chinese government's promotion for clean energy vehicles, and (iii) better end consumer recognition of higher-end cars made by automotive manufacturers from Chinese and Germany joint ventures, and U.S. and Japanese joint ventures, where manufacturers tend to use more and higher-end modified plastics in quantity per vehicle in China. Gross profit was $34.8 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to $34.8 million for the same period of 2016, representing a stable period to period comparison.  Gross margin was 14.6% for the first quarter of 2017, compared to 16.2% for the same period of 2016, primarily due the lower gross margin of higher-end products sold in the domestic market in the current period as compared to the same period in 2016. General and administrative (G&A) expenses were $7.1 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to $5.1 million for the same period of 2016, representing an increase of $2.0 million, or 39.2%.  This increase was primarily due to the increases in salary and welfare expenses, due to the increase in the number of management and general staff. Research and development (R&D) expenses were $5.9 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to $4.9 million for the same period of 2016, representing an increase of $1.0 million, or 20.4%. This increase was primarily due to (i) elevated R&D activities to meet the higher quality requirements of potential customers from Europe, (ii) increased R&D efforts directed towards applications in new electrical equipment, electronics, alternative energy applications, power devices, aviation equipment and ocean engineering, in addition to other new products primarily for advanced industrialized applications in the automobile sector and in new verticals such as ships, airplanes, high-speed rail, 3D printing materials, biodegradable plastics and medical, and (iii) an increase in depreciation expenses after R&D equipment was put into use at Sichuan Enterprise Group Company Limited ("Sichuan Xinda"). As of March 31, 2017, the number of ongoing research and development projects was 255. Operating income was $21.3 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to $24.5 million for the same period of 2016, representing a decrease of $3.2 million, or 13.1%. This decrease was primarily due to higher G&A expenses and higher R&D expenses. Net interest expense was $8.8 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to net interest expense of $9.3 million for the same period of 2016, representing a decrease of $0.5 million, or 5.4%. This decrease was primarily due to (i) the increase of average deposit balance in amount of $485.3 million for the first quarter of 2017 compared to $360.8 million for the same period in 2016, (ii) a decrease of interest expense due to a decrease in the average interest rate to 4.8% for the first quarter of 2017 compared to 5.8% for the same period in 2016, partially offset by (iii) a decrease of interest income resulting from a decrease in the average interest rate to 1.2% for the first quarter compared to 1.7% of the same period in 2016, and (iv) an increase in the average short-term and long-term loan balance of $785.4 million for the first quarter of 2017 compared to $415.9 million for the same period in 2016. Income tax expense was $3.6 million for the first quarter of 2017, representing an effective income tax rate of 26.4%, compared to income tax expense of $4.5 million in the same period of 2016, representing an effective income tax rate of 28.5%. The effective income tax rate for the three-month period ended March 31, 2017 differs from the People's Republic of China (PRC) statutory income tax rate of 25% primarily due to (i) the consolidated income before income taxes for the current quarter decreased due to the operating losses of entities not subject to income tax, and (ii) non-deductible expenses in the PRC operating entities, which were partially offset by (iii) the additional deduction of R&D for the major PRC operating entities; and (iv) Sichuan Xinda's preferential income tax rate. Net income was $9.9 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to $11.4 million for the same period of 2016, representing a decrease of $1.5 million, or 13.2%. Basic and diluted earnings per share in the current quarter were $0.15, compared to $0.17 per basic and diluted share for the same period of 2016.  The average number of shares used in the computation of basic and diluted earnings per share current quarter was 49.5 million, compared to 49.4 million shares for basic and diluted earnings per share in the prior year period. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was $34.0 million for the first quarter of 2017, virtually unchanged from EBITDA of $33.9 million for the same period of 2016.  For a detailed reconciliation of EBITDA, a non-GAAP measure, to its nearest GAAP equivalent, please see the financial tables at the end of this release. As of March 31, 2017, the Company had $57.7 million in cash and cash equivalents, $77.8 million in time deposits with commercial banks, negative working capital of $179.8 million (current assets minus current liabilities) and a current ratio (current assets divided by current liabilities) of 0.8 as compared to 1.2 as of December 31, 2016. The decrease in the current ratio was primarily because the Company's cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash and time deposits decreased by 37.8%, and short-term loans increased by 43.4% for the increased prepayment obligations to equipment suppliers for the Company's new Nanchong Project (see Recent Events, below).  Stockholders' equity as of March 31, 2017 was $648.2 million compared to $634.3 million as of December 31, 2016. Inventories increased by 30.9% to $367.7 million as of the first quarter of 2017 as compared to fiscal year end 2016 as a result of more purchases of raw materials and the Company's strategy to stock up on finished goods for upcoming orders. Prepayment to equipment suppliers increased by 2,583.1% mainly because of advances to purchases for the new Nanchong Project.  The aggregate short-term and long-term bank loans increased by 18.9% due to the utilization of existing lines of credit to support the expansion of the Sichuan and Dubai facilities.  We define the manageable debt level as the sum of aggregate short-term and long-term loans, and notes payable over total assets.  We expect that we will be able to meet our needs to fund operations, capital expenditures and other commitments in the next 12 months primarily with our cash and cash equivalents, operating cash flows and bank borrowings. On March 18, 2017, the Company issued a press release announcing the official signing of an agreement with the People's Government of Shunqing District, Nanchong City, Sichuan Province, for the production of 300,000 metric tons of bio-composite materials and additive manufacturing and 20,000 metric tons of functional masterbatch (the "Nanchong Project").  After initial approval by the Board of Directors and the Company's major investor on December 8, 2016, Sichuan Xinda entered into a strategic investment agreement with Shunqing Government, Nanchong City, Sichuan Province, on December 12, 2016.  Due to the uncertainty of securing the necessary land use rights for the project, the Company waited until March 13, 2017 and entered into a "Land Use Right Transfer Agreement" with the government agency, formalizing its initial dialogue, and entered into a definitive agreement after approval by the Board of Directors and its major shareholder. The Nanchong Project will be located in a land area of 250 mu (equivalent to 41.2 acres), where 215 mu will be designated for bio-composite materials and additive manufacturing production and 35 mu will be designated for functional masterbatch production. The projected total capital expenditures for the project is approximately 2.5 billion RMB (estimated to be $357 million) and the anticipated completion will take place by the end of December 2018. The Nanchong Project will add 320,000 metric tons of production capacity and the Company will also benefit from favorable tax policies under China's 'Go West Campaign' by locating the project in Southwest China. On February 17, 2017, the Company issued a press release announcing that its Board of Directors (the "Board") has received a preliminary non-binding proposal letter, dated February 16, 2017, from its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Jie Han ("Mr. Han"), XD Engineering Plastics Company Limited ("XD Engineering"), a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and wholly owned by Mr. Han, and MSPEA Modified Plastics Holding Limited, an affiliate of Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia III, Inc. (collectively, the "Buyer Consortium"), to acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of the Company not already beneficially owned by the Buyer Consortium in a "going-private" transaction (the "Transaction") for $5.21 per share of common stock in cash.  The proposal letter states that the Buyer Consortium expects that the Board will appoint a special committee of independent directors to consider the proposal and make a recommendation to the Board.  The proposal letter also states that the Buyer Consortium will not move forward with the proposed Transaction unless it is approved by such a special committee, and the proposed Transaction will be subject to a non-waivable condition requiring approval by majority shareholder vote of shareholders other than the Buyer Consortium members.  The Buyer Consortium currently beneficially owns approximately 74% of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock of the Company on a fully diluted and as-converted basis. The Board has established a special committee (the "Special Committee") of disinterested directors to consider the proposal.  The Special Committee is composed of the following independent directors of the Company: Mr. Lawrence W. Leighton, Mr. Feng Li, and Mr. Linyuan Zha, with Mr. Leighton serving as chairperson of the Special Committee.  The Special Committee will be responsible for evaluating, negotiating and recommending to the Board any proposals involving a strategic transaction by the Company with one or more third parties.  The Special Committee intends to retain advisors, including an independent financial advisor, to assist in the evaluation of the proposal and any additional proposals that may be made by the Buyer Consortium. The Special Committee cautions the Company's shareholders and others considering trading in its securities that the Special Committee has not made any decisions with respect to the Company's response to the proposal.  There can be no assurance that any definitive offer will be made by the Buyer Consortium or any other person, that any definitive agreement will be executed relating to the proposed Transaction, or that this or any other transaction will be approved or consummated. The Company reiterates its financial guidance for fiscal 2017 with revenue to range between $1.2 billion and $1.3 billion, and net income to range between $85.0 million to $100.0 million. This is based on the anticipation of a continued recovery throughout the Chinese automotive supply chain and a stabilization of crude oil pricing and its impact on polymer composite materials in 2017. This forecast also assumes additional contributions from the Sichuan facility and that overseas sales will be resumed in the second half of 2017.  It also assumes the average exchange rate of the US dollar to RMB at 6.8 and that the Company will incur interest expenses for loan term loans and short term loans. This financial guidance reflects the Company's preliminary view of its business outlook for the fiscal year of 2017 and is subject to revision based on changing market conditions at any time. China XD Plastics' senior management will host a conference call at 9:00 am Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, to discuss its first quarter 2017 financial results.  The conference call can be accessed by dialing +1 (855) 298-3404 (for callers in the U.S.), +86-4001-200-539 (for Mainland China callers) or +852 5808 3202 (for Hong Kong callers) and entering pass code 5959925. A recording of the conference call will be available through May 17, 2017, by calling +1 (866) 846-0868 (for callers in the U.S.) and entering pass code 5959925. A live webcast and replay of the conference call will be available on the investor relations page of the Company's website at http://www.chinaxd.net. China XD Plastics Company Limited, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and sells polymer composites materials, primarily for automotive applications. The Company's products are used in the exterior and interior trim and in the functional components of 29 automobile brands manufactured in China, including without limitation, AUDI, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Toyota, Buick, Chevrolet, Mazda, Volvo, Ford, Citroen, Jinbei and VW Passat, Golf, Jetta, etc. The Company's wholly-owned research center is dedicated to the research and development of polymer composites materials and benefits from its cooperation with well-known scientists from prestigious universities in China. As of March 31, 2017, 410 of the Company's products have been certified for use by one or more of the automobile manufacturers in China. For more information, please visit the Company's English website at http://www.chinaxd.net, and the Chinese website at http://www.xdholding.com. This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact in this announcement are forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, the Company's growth potential in international markets; the effectiveness and profitability of the Company's product diversification strategy; the impact of the Company's product mix shift to more advanced products and related pricing policies;  the effectiveness, profitability, and the marketability of its the ongoing mix shift to more advanced products; the prospects of the Company's Dubai facility, and the associated expansion into Middle East, Europe and other parts of Asia; the prospects of the Company's Sichuan facility, and its penetration into Southwest China; the Company's projections of its revenues for performance in fiscal 2017.   These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "expect," "project," "anticipate," "forecast," "plan," "believe," "estimate" and similar statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties and are based on current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections about the Company and the industry. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the global economic uncertainty could further impair the automotive industry and limit demand for our products; fluctuations in automotive sales and production could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and liquidity; our financial performance may be affected by the prospect of our Dubai facility and the associated expansion into Middle East, Europe and other parts of Asia; the withdrawal of preferential government policies and the tightening control over the Chinese automotive industry and automobile purchase restrictions imposed in certain major cities may limit market demand for our products; the slowing of Chinese automotive industry's growth; the concentration of our distributors, customers and suppliers; and other risks detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available on its website at http://www.sec.gov. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent occurring events or circumstances, or to changes in its expectations, except as may be required by law.  Although the Company believes that the expectations expressed in these forward looking statements are reasonable, it cannot assure you that its expectations will turn out to be correct, and investors are cautioned that actual results may differ materially from the anticipated results.


"We selected Ticketmaster because of their longstanding, proven track record in the ticket industry," says Tim Zulawski, chief commercial officer, AMBS&E. "They are making significant investments into both their consumer and venue platforms, improving the overall experience as well as enabling the organization to reach and protect our fans more effectively through a robust secondary marketplace." AMBS&E's access to key marketing and performance data through Ticketmaster's platform was an important factor in the partnership. The use of Ticketmaster's data enhancing service, LiveAnalytics, will also help to better understand and strengthen engagement with season ticket members and single-game fans. Ticketmaster's most advanced technologies are being integrated into the world-class Mercedes-Benz Stadium to help create a more personalized in-venue experience for fans as the venue gears up to become the official home to both teams and host other major sports and entertainment events, including the NCAA Men's Final Four in 2020. Mercedes-Benz Stadium will seat 71,000 and will open in late August with two NFL pre-season games with the Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona on Saturday, August 26, and vs. Jacksonville on Thursday, August 31. The August 26 game will be the first public event in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, powered by Ticketmaster. Atlanta United will play their inaugural game in Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday, September 10 against FC Dallas, the first-ever regular season sporting event held at the stadium. "Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be one of the most advanced sports and entertainment venues in the world and is providing a dynamic step forward for major stadiums," Jared Smith, president of Ticketmaster North America, said. "We are thrilled to be a part of Atlanta's history-in-the-making, and proud that Ticketmaster's technology will help the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United better understand and connect with their fans." About Ticketmaster Ticketmaster is the global market leader in live event ticketing, digital marketing, and mobile fan engagement tools that drive over 480 million ticket transactions per year. Through exclusive partnerships with thousands of venues, artists, sports leagues, and arts and theater tours, Ticketmaster delivers unparalleled access to the most iconic live events to millions of fans worldwide. Ticketmaster is a division of Live Nation Entertainment, the world's leading live entertainment company. About Mercedes-Benz Stadium Upon its completion in 2017, Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be a world-class sports and entertainment facility in downtown Atlanta and home to the National Football League's Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer's Atlanta United. The multi-purpose stadium will host major sports and entertainment events, including the Super Bowl in 2019, the NCAA Men's Final Four in 2020 and the 2018 College Football Playoff Championship game. Mercedes-Benz Stadium is proud to be collaborating with ten founding partners, which include Coca-Cola, Equifax, The Home Depot, NCR, Novelis, SCANA Energy, SunTrust, IBM, Georgia Power and American Family Insurance. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ticketmaster-extends-official-partnerships-with-atlanta-falcons-and-atlanta-united-ahead-of-teams-move-to-new-home-at-mercedes-benz-stadium-300468413.html


News Article | June 1, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First paragraph, third sentence of release dated June 1, 2017, should read: Adding 3,066 units for Vans and 331 units for smart, MBUSA achieved a grand total of 30,290 vehicles for the month, down 7.0% from May of last year (instead of Adding 3,066 units for Vans and 331 units for smart, MBUSA achieved a grand total of 30,242 vehicles for the month, down 7.1% from May of last year). Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) today reported May sales volume at 26,893 units, a decrease of 8.2% from the 29,299 vehicles sold during the same month last year. On a year-to-date basis, Mercedes-Benz retails totaled 132,966 units, down 1.0% from the previous year, which was an all-time record for MBUSA. Adding 3,066 units for Vans and 331 units for smart, MBUSA achieved a grand total of 30,290 vehicles for the month, down 7.0% from May of last year. “ High demand combined with short supplies on some of our most popular models (GLC, CLA and GLA) during the new model changeover created some challenges,” said Dietmar Exler, president and CEO of MBUSA. “ With 2018 models, particularly CLA and GLA, now arriving in dealer showrooms we expect to be back on track for a strong year.” Mercedes-Benz volume leaders in May included the C-Class, GLE and E-Class (including the CLS) model lines. The C-Class took the lead at 6,996, followed by the GLE sales of 4,631. The E-Class rounded out the top three with 4,068 units sold. Mercedes-AMG high-performance models sold 2,848 units in May, with a total of 14,317 units sold year-to-date (up 53.2%). Separately, Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned (MBCPO) models recorded sales of 10,887 vehicles in May, a decrease of 4.0% when compared to the same month last year (11,343). On a year-to-date basis, MBCPO sold 51,239 vehicles, an increase of 1.1% over 2016 (50,700). Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Atlanta, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse lineup in the luxury segment with 15 model lines ranging from the sporty CLA-Class four-door coupe to the flagship S-Class and the Mercedes-AMG GT S. MBUSA is also responsible for Mercedes-Benz Vans and smart products in the U.S. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at www.mbusa.com, www.mbsprinterusa.com and www.smartusa.com. Accredited journalists can visit our media site at www.media.mbusa.com. Follow us on Twitter @MBUSAnews.


ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--National non-profit Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA, powered by Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), has invested an initial $1 million to fund grants to youth development organizations in three of Atlanta’s Westside neighborhoods. This investment, also supported by the National Recreation Foundation, is the first phase of a $3 million commitment that will expand pathways of success for Westside youth. These grants will help facilitate the growth of 14 out of school programs using sport to improve the health, education, employment and social and emotional well-being of local youth. On Monday, July 17, 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., over 300 Westside youth and their families will enjoy sports, games and food with the 14 awarded organizations at historic Washington Park. Together, Laureus USA and Mercedes-Benz USA will officially kick-off Sport for Good Atlanta with the support of the National Recreation Foundation, Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United FC. The Sport for Good Atlanta Kickoff is also an official stop on Nickelodeon’s summer-long celebration of play, leading up to the network’s 14th annual Worldwide Day of Play. The event will incorporate Nick-themed games and activities to encourage more active lifestyles for the local community. “We are excited to support 14 Sport for Good programs in Atlanta’s Westside, as they give youth a constructive outlet to develop confidence, set goals, and connect with adult mentors,” said Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, CEO of Laureus USA and Olympic Gold Medalist in Track and Field. “By providing these grants, we are empowering these organizations to work together and make an even bigger impact. One program alone cannot solve the challenges our research identified, which is why we are building a team of passionate programs that can make our long-term goals of reducing violence and improving educational attainment, achievable.” “Mercedes-Benz USA places a high priority on nurturing leadership and for decades has supported programs focused on educating and empowering the next generation,” said Dietmar Exler, CEO of MBUSA. “Sport for Good Atlanta will provide young people with tools they need to reach their full potential. We look forward to working closely with Laureus USA and our other partner organizations to help create a sustainable future for the youth of the Westside.” This effort is the result of Laureus USA’s thoughtful engagement with Westside community leaders, coaches, parents and youth over the course of the past year. Beginning in the summer of 2016, Laureus worked with Families First (who has served the Atlanta community for over 125 years) to convene local residents of all ages to understand the current landscape of sports opportunities in the Westside, and how these programs could be repositioned to address the greatest challenges that local youth face. Laureus USA surveyed over 400 residents, over half of which were youth aged 12-18. They found violence, drugs and gang activity to be the greatest challenges faced by youth growing up in the focus neighborhoods. In addition, a troubling 73% of respondents cited affordability as the highest barrier between youth and sports participation. In direct response to these needs, Laureus USA is now funding a diverse range of sports activities including baseball, basketball, soccer, cycling, fishing, golf, tennis, gymnastics as well as track and field. These free programs will be available to Westside youth in the Vine City, English Avenue and Washington Park areas. This long-term commitment will help strengthen the English Avenue, Vine City, and Washington Park neighborhoods through the power of sport. About Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA - Laureus USA is a national non-profit organization advancing the nationwide movement to use Sport for Good. We invest in programs that are effectively using sport to improve the health, education, employment and social cohesion of disadvantaged youth. Since 2012, we have impacted over 480,000 youth across 110 U.S. cities by investing in programs that use sport for social change. We have also supported the training of over 3,300 coaches who now serve as youth mentors in underserved communities. Learn more about Sport for Good at www.LaureusUSA.com. About Mercedes-Benz USA - Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), the sales and marketing arm for Mercedes-Benz in the United States, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz products. For the 60 years Mercedes-Benz has operated in this country, the company has been an integral part of the communities in which it does business and the neighborhoods where its employees live and work. On a national level, MBUSA provides multi-million dollar support to programs through partnerships with Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA (a nationwide network of youth sports programs improving health, education, employment and social cohesion in underserved communities) and the Johnny Mac Foundation which provides scholarships to children of fallen soldiers. In Atlanta, MBUSA is involved with over 50 organizations in its effort to empower and enable the next generation and address local needs in its community including Atlanta’s Westside, a fast-developing area surrounding the Mercedes-Benz Stadium that includes under-resourced neighborhoods. Here, MBUSA partners with multiple organizations working to create a sustainable future for the youth of the Westside. About The National Recreation Foundation - The National Recreation Foundation (NRF) is a private charitable foundation dedicated to enhancing the role of recreation as a positive force in improving the quality of life of youth. NRF invests in recreation programs directed at those who are economically, physically or mentally disadvantaged.


ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) announced today that it has received approval from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Veterans Affairs – including State Approving Agencies (SAA) – to become the first luxury automotive manufacturer to offer a Registered Apprenticeship Program in four U.S. states, certifying Mercedes-Benz DRIVE as part of the National Apprenticeship System. Through MBUSA’s 16-week technician training and development program, Mercedes-Benz DRIVE, veterans and nonveterans alike will be trained for in-demand technician careers at authorized Mercedes-Benz dealerships. Specifically, candidates interested in obtaining a career as a systems technician will receive training in core competencies such as brakes and traction, service and maintenance and telematics, in addition to E-Mobility, diagnostic strategy and electrical fundamentals. Students will also take a course in career development, helping them prepare for a successful transition into the automotive industry. “ The complexity of our current and future luxury vehicles, along with significant sales growth, has created a strong and growing need for skilled, professional technicians,” said Christian Treiber, vice president of customer service at MBUSA. “ Mechanics are now technologists with a high level of sophistication. With an eye towards the future, Mercedes-Benz has mapped out a new path that makes technician jobs attractive to veterans as well as providing much-needed assets for dealerships.” At the successful completion of the program’s hands-on and instructional learning, apprentices receive a certificate from both MBUSA and the DOL. These certifications will be recognized at all Mercedes-Benz dealerships throughout the United States, honoring the significant achievement of completing over 640 hours of specific, manufacturer training. Mercedes-Benz DRIVE is offered in four locations across the country: Long Beach, Calif; Dallas, Texas; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Norwood, Mass. Applicants are able to obtain additional information about Mercedes-Benz DRIVE by emailing mbdrive@mbusa.com. Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Atlanta, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse lineup in the luxury segment with 15 model lines ranging from the sporty CLA-Class four-door coupe to the flagship S-Class and the Mercedes-AMG GT S. MBUSA is also responsible for Mercedes-Benz Vans and smart products in the U.S. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at www.mbusa.com, www.mbsprinterusa.com and www.smartusa.com. Accredited journalists can visit our media site at www.media.mbusa.com. Follow us on Twitter @MBUSAnews.


News Article | August 1, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) today reported July sales of 25,909 units, compared to 28,523 vehicles sold during the same month last year. On a year-to-date basis, Mercedes-Benz retails totaled 187,869 units, down 1.8% from the previous year. Adding 2,758 units for Vans and 182 units for smart, MBUSA achieved a grand total of 28,849 vehicles for the month. “ July proved to be a challenging month across the industry,” said Dietmar Exler, president and CEO of MBUSA. “ We are in a position for another strong year with new products launching in the second half.” Mercedes-Benz volume leaders in July included the C-Class, GLC and GLE model lines. The C-Class took the lead at 4,899, followed by GLC sales of 4,002. The GLE rounded out the top three with 3,879 units sold. Mercedes-AMG high-performance models sold 2,098 units in July, with a total 19,128 sold year-to-date (up 52.9%). Separately, Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned (MBCPO) models recorded sales of 8,654 vehicles in July, a decrease of 17.7% when compared to the same month last year (10,517). On a year-to-date basis, MBCPO sold 68,847 vehicles, a decrease of 2.8% over 2016 (70,863). Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Atlanta, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse lineup in the luxury segment with 15 model lines ranging from the sporty CLA-Class four-door coupe to the flagship S-Class and the Mercedes-AMG GT S. MBUSA is also responsible for Mercedes-Benz Vans and smart products in the U.S. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at www.mbusa.com, www.mbsprinterusa.com and www.smartusa.com. Accredited journalists can visit our media site at www.media.mbusa.com. Follow us on Twitter @MBUSAnews.

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