Mercedes-Benz has sealed a deal with European car retailers to move to an agency model, including the UK by 2023.
Already, Swedish and Austrian Mercedes-Benz dealers have moved to agency sales but the car maker now says it expects half of its cars will be sold this way by 2023 as it continues the roll out.
The deal was done with the Fédération Européenne des Amicales de Concessionnaires Mercedes-Benz (FEAC). Its members are the national Mercedes-Benz dealer associations of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Britta Seeger, member of the board of management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, responsible for sales, said: ‘Our concern is that we achieve even stronger customer loyalty to our Mercedes-Benz brand worldwide.
‘Therefore, I am all the more pleased that with this next step, together with the European Dealer Association, we have now reached an important milestone for us and our partners in Europe. The starting point for changing our sales model is the changed behavior of our customers in a digital world.
‘We want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to interact with us. It doesn’t matter if it’s digital or physical.
‘The agency model supports us in seamlessly networking all contact points. We have ambitious goals we want to achieve together with our sales partners: by the end of 2023 more than 50 per cent of new Mercedes-Benz vehicles available in Europe should be sold under the agency model.’
Mercedes says the agency sales model will create ‘seamless networking of all contact points’.
In a statement from Daimler AG it explained that dealers will take on a ‘central role in the so-named customer experience and enable a seamless customer journey’ and it believes it will add further benefits to consumers, such as price transparency and a greater selection of vehicles.
Friedrich Lixl, FEAC president, said: ‘With this agreement we are creating a clear and predictable framework for European sales and, together with the manufacturer, proactively facing changed market conditions in order to continue to stay clearly ahead of the competition as well as to secure the investments and the company value for the agents in the future.’