In addition to its wholly-owned Birmingham and Manchester territories, DCUK is considering building a brand centre in the North-east and in Scotland. The company says the centres, on massive sites incorporating test tracks, museums and theatres, offer a focal point for its franchised dealer network.
“We want to encourage dealers to bring their customers, especially corporate clients, to the centres where they can use conference facilities and enjoy time on track,” says Dermot Kelly, director of Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars. “We can also demonstrate the benefits of technology like ABS, ESP, EDB – it all adds up to a complete experience that will help the dealer to make the sale. If they are successful, we will look to introduce them wherever we can.”
DCUK is targeting growth in the corporate market – and in particular on C-class, A-class and Smart – as it looks to strike a better balance with sales to retail buyers. Since launching the Mercedes Cars division at the start of the year, overseeing Mercedes, Smart, Maybach and AMG brands, the company can sell the benefits of its wide model range to corporate clients.
“I'm confident we can get to five per cent market share in the UK,” says Kelly. “The Mercedes Cars operation enables us to manage the portfolio of cars and ensure models don't clash or compete for buyers And the AMG brand will improve the perception of Mercedes as a maker of sporty, exciting models.”