Accord, New York, United States
If you drop $100,000 on a luxury sedan, it seems only reasonable to receive some preferential treatment at the dealership you purchased from. After all, that price isn't just for the car - you're paying for the brand and all the cachet that entails. For Mercedes-Benz, those benefits have apparently been lacking relative to the German brand's luxury competitors.
That's set to change, though, as Automotive News reports that the German brand is placing a much greater emphasis on keeping its customers happy and loyal with its MB Select program. Starting with the new S-Class and spreading to the CLA-Class (and eventually beyond), dealers are being given money - up to $2,500 in the case of the flagship sedan - just to improve the customer experience.
We agree, improving the "customer experience" is quite a vague term, so it's nice that Mercedes USA's CEO, Steve Cannon, offered up some examples to AN at the LA Auto Show. For example, a customer couldn't fit his sunglasses into the overhead compartment. "So we bought him a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses that fit because of their shape," Cannon said.
Mercedes-Benz opted to tease the assembled media at its post-New York Auto Show party, showing off a pair of images of the exquisitely crafted interior of the highly anticipated successor of the SLS AMG - the V8-powered Mercedes-AMG GT.
Slated for a debut in the fall at either Paris or Los Angeles (we're betting Paris), you'll note straight away that there's something wrong with this car's name. Where's the "Benz?" Well, it's been ditched to, as Mercedes says, "make the dream of the authentic Mercedes-AMG sports car come true." Sorry Karl.
"The new Mercedes-AMG GT proves that we will be positioning AMG as a dynamic sports car brand even more strongly and aggressively than before," said Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG.
BMW managed to eke ahead of Audi for the global luxury sales crown in February. According to Bloomberg, BMW saw deliveries swell by 7 percent in February, besting the 3.2 percent jump enjoyed by Audi and giving BMW a 407-unit delivery lead over its rival last month. Mercedes-Benz, meanwhile, continued to falter, with the brand selling some 37,229 fewer machines than BMW, whose factories are running at full capacity to keep up with demand. Models like the X1 (shown above) enjoyed a sales increase of 40 percent in February while the company's bread-and-butter 3 Series jumped by 26 percent.
Mercedes-Benz hopes to stem its continued market share loss with the addition of the entry-level CLA sedan to its portfolio in April. The company is set to roll out an updated version of its cash-cow E-Class at the same time, and a new-generation S-Class will follow along shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, the company is increasing production to meet demand for its A and B-Class models.