“The financial performance of DaimlerChrysler Retail in the first half of the year is comparable to the rest of the dealer network,” Steffen says.
“It’s a profitable business in line with the Mercedes network, which is seeing an increase in profits for the past 18 months. We are targeting a network average of 2% return on sales and we are almost there. Dealers are satisfied with our development.”
A key development has been to create efficient processes and business management across the network. Best practice ideas and cost- efficient methods have been shared with all retailers, some ideas coming from Mercedes’ own sites.
DCUK will finally open its Mercedes-Benz World super-centre at Brooklands, Surrey, in October after years of delays caused by planning issues. It has room to display every Mercedes and Smart model, and will offer both sales and servicing for customers.
The dealership business will be headed by a separate manager to the rest of Mercedes-Benz World, which also includes a museum, test track, off-road course, hotel, spa, community park and restaurant.
Steffen is keen for other Mercedes retailers to exploit the centre. “We are in the final phase of agreeing the process for them to use Mercedes-Benz World,” he says.
“We will have bespoke packages for them to take up and use for their customers as invited guests of the dealer. They need to make the best use of it – it’s an opportunity to see and drive the full range of Mercedes and Smart cars.”