Mercedes-Benz Museum visited by 701,000 guests in 2011

Article by Anita Panait, on January 2, 2012

It has been over five years since the Mercedes-Benz Museum was opened to the public, and now it has become a popular leisure destination. In fact, since it was opened in May 2006, the Mercedes-Benz Museum has welcomed more than 4.2 million visitors, according to head of Mercedes-Benz Classic Michael Bock. In 2011 alone, 701,000 visitors from 175 countries around the world visited the museum on the automobile’s 125th anniversary; with nearly 4,000 guided tours conducted in 10 different languages.

Increasing the appeal of the Mercedes-Benz Museum – especially to new target groups -- were newly designed Legend 6 exhibition room and the special 'Art & Stars & Cars' exhibition. Bock remarked that 125 years since automobile was invented, it remains a fascinating object, as evidenced by the number of people who visited the museum. He noted the high proportion of international visitors to the museum, with nearly a third of guests coming from outside Germany.

He added that this international appeal could be attributed to the anniversary year of the automobile and Mercedes’ extensive program in 2011. More and more people from other countries are coming each year to visit the Mercedes-Benz Museum. In 2010, visitors represented 158, and the number surged to 175 in 2011. Moreover, the share of international guests has jumped by nearly half in recent years to 27 percent.

Majority of visitors were from Germany, China, United States, France and Switzerland. Notably, China’s visitor ranking leaped from fourth to second thanks to a significant increase in the number of guests from the Asian country. According to regular visitor surveys, two thirds of all guests spent over three hours at the 16,000-sqm automobile exhibition. Interestingly, quite a number of visitors were first-time guests in 2011.

In addition, 90 percent of all visitors in 2011 remarked that their expectations were exceeded while 98 percent said that they would recommend the Mercedes-Benz Museum. On the other hand, nearly 40 percent of guests said their visit to the museum was a result of recommendations from friends and acquaintances, while seven percent of visitors disclosed that the increased media coverage in the anniversary year is what urged them to drop by the museum.

In addition, promotions through online social networks like Facebook and Twitter were responsible for increasing the awareness of the museum as a leisure destination by two-fold. In 2011, nearly 4,000 guided tours were conducted in the Mercedes-Benz Museum, setting a new record. Still the most popular attraction is the classic Automobile guided tour that is conducted in 10 languages.

Also a hit among visitors are exclusive after-hours tours in the evening as well as guided tours of Mercedes’ Untertürkheim and Bad Cannstatt engine sites. Visitors are also aplenty on the special guided tour of the 'Art & Stars & Cars' exhibition.

Press Release

A successful year draws to a close for the Mercedes-Benz Museum

The total number of visitors to the Mercedes-Benz Museum rose once again in 2011, to 701,000. On the year marking the automobile's 125th anniversary, the visitors came from 175 countries worldwide. The newly designed Legend 6 exhibition room and the special 'Art & Stars & Cars' exhibition additionally attracted new target groups to the Mercedes-Benz Museum. Almost 4000 guided tours were conducted in ten different languages.

"Another successful year is drawing to a close. Since the opening in May 2006, over 4.2 million people have visited the Mercedes-Benz Museum," says Michael Bock, head of Mercedes-Benz Classic. "125 years after its invention, the automobile retains its special fascination to this day – the figures speak for themselves. We are particularly pleased about the high proportion of international visitors. Once again this year, almost a third of our guests came from abroad. This international appeal is attributable both to the anniversary year of the automobile and to our extensive programme in 2011."

People from all over the world flock to see the first ever automobile

The visitors from a total of 175 countries reflect the international character of the Mercedes-Benz Museum. In 2010 visitors came from 158 countries. The share of international guests has risen by almost half in recent years, to 27 percent. The majority of guests came from Germany, followed by China, USA, France and Switzerland. There has been a sharp increase in the number of Chinese guests since 2009, resulting in a steady climb for China from fourth to second place in the visitor rankings.

How did the visitors become aware of the Mercedes-Benz Museum? While almost 40 percent relied on recommendations from friends and acquaintances, 7 percent of visitors stated that they had been prompted to visit the museum by the increased media coverage in the anniversary year. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have given rise to a two-fold increase in awareness of the museum as a leisure destination.

Many of the guests visited the Mercedes-Benz Museum for the first time in the year marking the 125th anniversary of the invention of the automobile. The top rankings from regular visitor surveys in 2011 confirm the guests' satisfaction, with over 90 percent of all visitors stating that their expectations had been surpassed and 98 percent confirming that they would recommend the Mercedes-Benz Museum. Two thirds of all visitors spent more than three hours at the automobile exhibition covering 16,000 square metres.

Group visitors and children's programmes on the increase

Almost 4,000 guided tours in 2011 marked a new record for the Mercedes-Benz Museum. The classic Automobile guided tour, carried out in a total of ten languages, remains the leading attraction. Exclusive after-hours tours in the evening, guided tours of the Untertürkheim and Bad Cannstatt engine factories and the special guided tour of the 'Art & Stars & Cars' exhibition also proved very popular.

The Mercedes-Benz Museum has also become a yet more attractive destination for groups: over 5,000 groups comprising a total of over 100,000 persons visited the exhibition – more than ever before. In addition, over 1900 school classes took advantage of the educational programme in the GeniusCampus area for children and young people. Another programme offered by the GeniusCampus enjoyed particular popularity, with almost 1000 children visiting over 80 children's birthday parties held at the Mercedes-Benz Museum. The new programme "Motor mechanics for adults" also became firmly established, with over 100 workshops offering almost 850 participants an opportunity to lean more about present-day engine technology.

Outstanding exhibitions and events in 2011

For the inventor of the automobile, the anniversary marking 125 years of the automobile played a major role this year, as the Mercedes-Benz Museum is the only venue in the world where visitors can take in the entire history of the automobile – from Benz's patented motor car dating from 1886 to futuristic vehicle studies.

The year kicked off with the opening of the new exhibition room Legend 6, ‘New start – the Road to Emission-free Mobility’, which has since won various awards. The new exhibition room grants visitors an insight into the future and outlines the drive technologies of tomorrow. The future has already arrived for visitors arriving at the Mercedes-Benz Museum by e-vehicle, with six electric charging stations offering free electric power to replenish the vehicles' batteries during visits to the museum.

The special exhibition 'Art & Stars & Cars' shows the museum in a similarly pioneering and innovative vein. This first art exhibition at the Mercedes-Benz Museum was conceived in collaboration with the Daimler Art Collection. A highlight of the exceptional exhibition comprising over 120 works was Andy Warhol's legendary Cars series, which was produced 25 years ago on the occasion of the car’s centenary. The Mercedes-Benz Museum also celebrated its fifth birthday in the middle of the anniversary year, on 22 May 2011. This proved one of the busiest days of the year, drawing over 5000 guests. The museum's summer season revolved around firm favourites such as the jazzopen stuttgart, the Mercedes-Benz Lounge and the Open Air Cinema programme – this year featuring the drive-in cinema event for the first time, which sold out in next to no time. Families with children were able to take part in Universal Children's Day at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in September, while the collectors' fair in November offered brand aficionados another opportunity to pick up some gems. This year, the Mercedes-Benz Museum once again offered events tailored to visitors with special needs – most recently on the Day of People with Disability in December.

2012 – spotlight on the Mercedes-Benz SL

"It will be a challenge to top 2011," observes Michael Bock. "But we have ambitious plans for 2012 and some great exhibitions in store. For the Mercedes-Benz brand, the first half of the year will centre on the new SL. At Mercedes-Benz Classic and at the museum we will be highlighting the 60-year history of the legendary SL series with special events and a major exhibition. All the models in one room – that will be a spectacle not to be missed. I am also looking forward to the 2012 Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film. As a partner to the festival, we will be presenting a special award – again focusing on the topic of 60 years of the SL. The special exhibition 'Timeless – 60 years of the Mercedes-Benz SL' will begin on 24 January 2012 and run until 2 September 2012.

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