Mercedes-Benz UK has vowed to improve its offering to fleets after admitting things were not yet up to scratch.
Wilfried Steffen, managing director of the car maker’s UK operation, said too many intermediaries were coming between the firm and its customers, and said much work was being done to develop personal relationships through the local dealer network.
“We prefer to have the retailers’ corporate team work with our corporate customers,” Mr Steffen said.
“We want to bring a lot of fleets back into the retail network, which provides the best service any customer can get. We want to build a personal relationship, because then you get your needs better addressed.”
Mr Steffen say the way fleet customers have been dealt with has not been up to standard, but said much was being done to improve things.
bluetec“Last year we improved the quality of the people on the corporate teams and our capacity in addressing the corporate market.
“We built better relationships with wholelife cost administrators and talked about product attributes much earlier so that they are properly reflected in the way we present ourselves in the market.
“These are a lot of small steps that improve the overall product and the service proposition.”
During an exclusive interview with Fleet News, Mr Steffen also said he hoped the newly-launched Bluetec efficient diesel technology could come to the UK in the future.
At the moment, the technology – which works by injecting urea into the engine to reduce NOx and particulate matter emissions – is considered uneconomic to bring to Britain.
Under the current company car tax legislation, drivers are not incentivised to reduce anything other than CO2. Mr Steffen hopes that will change in time, bringing the UK in line with other countries.
“We think Bluetec will be relevant in the UK later on, maybe in 2010,” he said.