Daimler wants to sell 25% of all cars online by 2025
German carmaker Daimler wants to sell 25% of its Mercedes cars online by 2025. Prices will be identical to the ones at the dealerships, but the grade of individualizing will be more limited to enable fast delivery. “Our clients want less complexity,” Daimler’s sales director, Britta Seeger, told the German press agency DPA on Thursday in The Hague.
Britta Seeger is a member of the Board of Daimler since 2017. She is responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales. When asked whether this is the end of the classic car dealership, she hurries to say: “We do everything together with our dealers.” Nevertheless, the tone is set, and the way customers will buy Mercedes cars is likely to change.
Best Customer Experience
“Today, customers often come to the dealership when they want to buy a car. But we’re sure this is no longer the first expectation of the client”, Seeger told the audience when she presented Daimler’s next step or ‘phase 4’ of its ‘Best Customer Experience’ marketing strategy that started in 2013.
One of the goals of ‘Best Customer Experience’ is to broaden the channels the customer can use to get in contact with Daimler, she said. In the new digital concepts, the carmaker is investing more than 100 million a year.
Last week, it was announced that Mercedes-Benz is setting up a new digital unit with 100 new jobs, headed by ex-BMW and ex-PSA executive, Sabine Scheunert (41). “This Digital Unit is to make innovative and digital products come alive for customers and pool the associated sales activities, including personalized sales and after-sales offers, and the further development of Mercedes Me.”
Digital hurdles to clear
How many cars Daimler is already selling online today, Seeger wouldn’t say. “But we see high interest in online access. It’s hugely appreciated,” she said. But to spread its online sales everywhere, Daimler will have to take some hurdles, like digital sales contracts and payments.
“We encounter in some countries difficulties with specific regulations,” Seeger replies. “We have to use intermediate solutions until the digital signature is legalized everywhere.”
Another change for Daimler, especially significant in Germany, is the high personalization of cars in the premium segment. “But internationally more than individualizing a car, short delivery times are highly validated,” Seeger argues.
She points at good experiences Daimler has outside of Germany, where customers can choose between specific equipment packages. “Our clients prefer less complexity.” The prices will be more uniform in the future and precisely the same at the dealership and online.
It will require a change of mind with the customer, as in Germany and several other countries, many people expect to be able to negotiate a better price in the dealership.