Mercedes-Benz has announced that it intends to reduce the number of its dealerships worldwide by 10% in the near future. A cut would at least double (up to 20%) in Germany. At the same time, it aims for 25% of direct Internet sales in three years.
“We want to be closer to the customer and therefore have better control over prices,” he said Harald Wilhelm , Chief Financial Officer of the brand, last week during the Mercedes-Benz Financial Markets Day and picked up by the Automotive News site. “That is why we are moving away from the current role of dealer”.
The German brand concluded an agreement with the European network in December 2021 to switch to an agent contract. The goal is to sell 50% of the vehicles in this distribution format in twenty countries by the end of 2023 and 80% by 2025. Mercedes-Benz has already introduced the “agency” model in Sweden, Austria, South Africa and India.
Mercedes-Benz, the remaining dealerships will be smaller
In addition, Mercedes-Benz wants to reduce the size of the dealerships. “In mature markets, we have less need for large showrooms that have fewer reasons to exist in the context of online sales,” he said. Bettina Fetzer Mercedes-Benz Vice President of Marketing and Communications. In 2025, the German manufacturer expects 25% of its sales to be online. “Direct sales will allow us to have direct management of the relationship with the customer and therefore to get to know our customers better”.
Last year, the Mercedes group decided to cut costs by selling 25 dealerships in Europe, hoping to generate up to € 1 billion in cash. This strategy was part of a broader cost reduction plan announced by Ola Kallenius, Chairman of the board of directors of the automaker in the fall of 2020, aimed at reducing operating costs by 20%.