Mercedes-Benz has announced the outline of a new retail strategy designed to strengthen and expand its distribution network across the UK and, it claims, revolutionise the way its cars are sold and serviced.
The formal announcement comes after DaimlerChrysler UK last week gave all its 156 dealerships 12 months' notice. A meeting of the Mercedes dealer council is due to be held tomorrow (Jan 16).
Today the manufacturer announced that in the future the network will feature Mercedes-Benz Experience Centres in London, Birmingham and Manchester, solely owned by the manufacturer.
This will be supported by a national network of Market Area Concepts (MACs) each featuring main dealers, satellites, service stations and high street retail outlets making it easier for customers to purchase and then have their cars serviced and repaired.
Under the plan the number of Mercedes-Benz outlets in the UK will increase from 159 to 175.
The company says the move will build on the 'strong and successful relationship' with the franchised network combined with an increased direct ownership of certain retail operations.
Current dealers will continue to sell and service cars as usual whilst the network re-organisation is rolled out.
Dermot Kelly, Mercedes-Benz UK director, said: "The plans we have outlined represent another step forward in joined up brand management.
"As customer needs and the whole retail environment changes we must ensure that we offer the finest care and support from the moment they begin a relationship with us ,either as a prospect or long-term advocate of our cars."