Mercedes-Benz Invests $1.6B to Makeover US Stores
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In order to attract a younger demographic of buyers, Mercedes-Benz is investing $1.6 billion with its dealers for U.S. Store makeovers and to cover the expansion of the automaker’s vehicle lineup.
The dealers will mainly shoulder the expenditure, with 300 out of 350
of them set to spend around $1.4 billion combined for upgraded
facilities. This was confirmed by Mercedes-Benz USA president Ernst
Lieb. He added that Mercedes-Benz itself will provide some $250 million
for the project. The US makeovers actually started back in 2008.
Mercedes is planning to introduce new models in the vehicle lineup
within 3 years, which is going to help follow up a good January where
Mercedes-Benz, along with BMW, sold more luxury vehicles and SUVs than
erstwhile leader Lexus, Toyota’s luxury car imprint. The new models will
include an update to the C-Class that’s due later in the year. The
C-Class was Mercedes-Benz’s USA top-grosser for 2010. The company
expects increased sales by up to over 10 percent, citing demand for new
models like the M-Class SUV and the SLK roadster.
The makeovers are aimed at giving the US stores more appeal for
younger prospective buyers. Add to that the new, smaller models planned
to be introduced and it really looks like Mercedes-Benz is committed to
capturing a bigger slice of the pie from BMW and Lexus. “When you look
at our lineup today, at the low end of the luxury market, what do we
have?” asked Lieb. “We have a C-Class four-door sedan, with two engine
variations, and that’s it. Any one of our competitors are very rich in
that segment with coupes, convertibles and other variations and