Mercedes-Benz will roll out a new corporate strategy next year that will overhaul its pricing policy for end users and encourage its retailers to sell more to smaller businesses.
The company has bolstered its contract hire team, taking headcount to three, as it looks for new ways to increase business with end user fleets.
Retailers will become agencies, removing them from pricing discussions with leasing companies. While they will still invoice the leasing company, Mercedes-Benz will set the support terms dependent on the end user.
“There will be no difference in prices between contract hire and leasing companies; the difference comes from the end user customer,” said Colin Niklas, Mercedes-Benz national corporate sales manager.
“Contract hire companies are unsure of our pricing structure today. There is also a lack of understanding about our product, what we do and how we operate. This new approach will give parity and transparency.”
In addition to their responsibilities for product, residual values and SMR, Mercedes’s contract hire managers will also work with leasing companies to identify opportunities to boost penetration with end user accounts.
They will be directly tasked with increasing sales volume via the leasing companies – “it’s a growth opportunity for us”, added Niklas.
However, while corporate business presents one route to higher fleet sales, the bigger opportunity lies in the small fleet sector.
Mercedes-Benz is looking to build on its 17% rise in fleet car sales year-to-date with a further 11% increase next year - in a market expected to be up by just under 2%. Most of this growth will come from sub-25 vehicle fleets.
The retail network will play a major part in delivering sales and service to smaller businesses.
“Within Mercedes-Benz this is the only segment we are looking to increase,” said Niklas. “The other sectors will be flat in line with the market expectations.”
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