STUTTGART: Mercedes-Benz, the German automaker, is joining the ranks of luxury brands that have optimised for mobile in order to supply tailored content to smartphone and tablet users.

"Offering for tablet PCs and smart phones is a key marketing channel to reach more interested people and new target groups," Ina Schultz, from the brand and lifestyle communications team at Mercedes, told Luxury Daily.

Its mobile site offers the latest brand content through a slideshow on the homepage, as well as seven content sections mirroring the firm's desktop site, which was revamped into a magazine-style offering last year.

These sections include: vehicles, innovation, design, history, sports, fashion, "zeitgeist" and TV. And there are also links to country-specific sites, Mercedes' social channels and a dealership locator.

"The focus of the website is on its character as a magazine," said Schultz. "The goal was to place a premium on an emotionally-appealing presentation of content, which are furthermore continuously updated."

The result, she claimed, "transcends, by far, conventional international corporate websites" and offers "surprising insights into the many facets of the world of Mercedes-Benz".

The developing role of mobile is affecting not just carmakers' marketing but also car design itself, as a new survey of human-machine interface (HMI) experts has shown.

Ben Ziemke, an industry analyst at Telematics Update, the business intelligence company, noted that "macro lifestyle trends, such as mobile device familiarity, almost ubiquitous connectivity and increasing personalization" are key influencers on HMI design.

Top-end automotive brands such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes are at the forefront of these developments, reflecting the expectation among buyers that there will be a higher feature count in more expensive cars.

Data sourced from Luxury Daily, Telematics Update; additional content by Warc staff