Mercedes-Benz UK has lauched its new Agency scheme for selling cars with a reduced role for traditional dealers.
It says the programmes creates a new way to purchase a new car, providing customers with a contemporary and luxury buying experience.
In the week before it introduced its Agency scheme, the car maker was in the High Court where preliminary hearings were outlining an estimated 300,000 claims against the distributor for fitting emissions-cheating devices to models in order to pass compulsory tests and thereby misrepresented the cars over a period of years. The claim has been rejected by MB UK.
Gary Savage, CEO of Mercedes-Benz UK said, “The launch of our Agency model is a hugely exciting time for us and our network – providing our customers with a range of benefits.
In an increasingly digitised world, customer-buying habits have changed – and an Agency model provides a consistent and transparent purchase journey – whether that’s online, in a physical showroom, or a combination of the two.”
The Mercedes-Benz Online Showroom provides customers with visibility of exactly where they are at in the purchase journey – from choosing a vehicle from all available UK stock, through to the vehicle handover – via a convenient, easy-to-access portal, offering a truly seamless “omni-channel” experience.
“What’s more, under our new Agency model, pricing is transparent for our customers wherever they choose to buy, eliminating the need to shop around. This means customers can be confident they will always get our best price.”
Mercedes-Benz Agents continue to play a central role in serving our customers throughout their entire new car purchase journey. Initial feedback shows customers are enjoying the simplified buying experience, with an average 5-star rating of 4.7. Feedback includes “very easy, simple, quick process” and “I like the transparent price so no need to shop around”.
JLR has also announced plans to do away with the traditional dealer model from 2024 and the manufacturer handling fixed price deals wtih customers while agency showrooms will be paid a fixed fee for enquiries and hand-overs.
Stellantis has delayed its proposals for agency selling amid strong protests from existing retailers and the trade anticipates fewer outlets and reduced income and sales in future.