Growing sales will always be a cause of celebration, but apart from the increased revenues, they also bring the need for constant new investments.
Mercedes-Benz USA is set to sell around 400.000 units in the next few years, so it needs to rapidly grow its dealership coverage to meet up with the constantly evolving demand. In numbers, the grow has to account for a roughly 25% increase, which would mean a new dealership for every four already existing.
Alternatively, the expansion could be achieved by physically extending the space of existing dealerships and service workshops, or by adding a second shift and increasing the employee number.
“With the segments we are adding, that growth will happen — 400,000 cars is a couple years away,” Cannon said. “There is a [dealer] network shortage.
“If your network was laid out at 200,000, and every year you are sending out 350,000 to 400,000 cars, you have to take care of those customers.”
The dealerships, regardless of whether their size will increase or not, will have to undergo cosmetic changes in two years time in accordance to new Mercedes-Benz standards called Autohaus2, targeting mostly the blue accents that were implemented during the last upgrade, so do expect to see a new face of every Mercedes-Benz dealership by 2017-2018.
Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz models offensive carries on with a dealers only presentation in Las Vegas later this year where no less than nine all new or redesigned models will be unveiled for their eyes only. It’s a bit unusual, but Mercedes-Benz USA says it needs to do it to remind dealers of the company’s growth plans.
“We have been in this product launch mode for the last several years,” he said. “I want to send a message clearly that we are not running out of gas. We are still in the beginning, and this will push through 2020.”
Also, as stated countless times in the past, Mercedes-Benz has the goal of becoming the number one premium manufacturer by the end of this decade, jumping from the third position it currently occupies behind its two fierce rivals, Audi and BMW. And if the first quarter of 2015 is anything to go by, the company is on a good track with the expansion plans of Mercedes-Benz USA doing their bit as well.