The VW group has Autostadt in Wolfsburg, BMW has its new museum in Munich, and now Mercedes-Benz is developing a 'brand world' of its own - not in its German homeland but in the genteel surroundings of Weybridge, Surrey, home of the historic Brooklands motor-racing circuit. Brooklands is also home to the Professional Solutions Europe (PSE) division of Sony, so perhaps it is only natural that these two household names should be joining forces in realising the project.
Under the terms of the deal between the two companies, which establishes a technology supply relationship between them, Sony is providing Mercedes-Benz World with the latest video-conferencing, audio-visual systems and digital signage, including over 40 Sony FWD Series professional HD-Ready LCD panels, the company's Ziris digital signage management software and the new high-definition SXRD 4K projection system, which is designed to project the highest quality HD images and is the only projector in the world able to offer 4K quality.
Visitors to Mercedes-Benz World will enter an experiential and interactive world that immerses them in the passion, heritage, values and innovation of the Mercedes-Benz brand. Visitors will be able to see every car and every colour in the range, but they'll also be able to book driving experiences on the handling circuits (including a wet skid circle and a 10-acre off road course).
There will also be a gourmet restaurant, a café, boutiques, and a dedicated 'kids zone' including safe, supervised and fun activities such as an interactive problem solving lab. Sony solutions are being installed throughout the centre's main building, including the Maybach Centre, conference room, reception as well as meeting, training and briefing rooms.
Peter O'Halloran, managing director of Mercedes-Benz World, comments: "Our intention is to make Mercedes-Benz World a top class attraction that offers exclusive facilities and cuisine to match the quality of our reputation. In building the Mercedes-Benz World brand experience centre, we have sought companies that match our brand characteristics and we are delighted to be able to team up with Sony and have access to their latest high-definition solutions."
Paul Hennessey, MD of Sony Professional Solutions United Kingdom, adds: "Sony is delighted to be working with Mercedes-Benz World to create one of the most technologically advanced brand experience centres in the UK, right here on our doorstep in Brooklands. Sony and Mercedes-Benz World have a shared belief in creating the highest-quality, most reliable solutions based on cutting-edge design. We look forward to further working together."
According to Sony, the HD SXRD 4K projector will form the centrepiece of a spectacular audiovisual display in the main reception area of Mercedes-Benz World, showing a combination of historical footage and the latest car models on a huge screen. The Sony FWD Series HD LCD screens will be mounted in prominent positions throughout the complex. Ziris software, working with a Sony Anycast Station integrated production system, will handle the creation, management and viewing of the audio-visual content.
The systems integration contract to install the technology has been awarded by Sony to Venue Solutions, based at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire.