Daimler Looks at Streamlining Mercedes German Dealerships

May 27 (Bloomberg) -- Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz division, the world’s third-biggest maker of luxury vehicles, is looking at streamlining its German dealership network because a rebound in the European auto market is unlikely soon.

Daimler wants its own sales outlets to meet profitability levels of independently owned Mercedes dealers, Bettina Singhartinger, a spokeswoman for the Stuttgart, Germany-based carmaker, said today in an e-mail.

Four-month sales in Europe by Mercedes rose 4.2 percent from a year earlier, counter to a 7 percent industrywide decline amid a sixth consecutive annual drop in the market. German trade magazine Automobilwoche reported earlier today that Daimler may revamp its German dealer network, including a possible sale, closing or merger of some outlets.

“Our sales structures are being examined continuously to create efficiency and position ourselves according to changing market developments,” Singhartinger said. “Daimler pursues a strategy of its own profitable sales organization within a strong, independent dealership network.”

Daimler directly controls 34 Mercedes distributors in Germany with 144 outlets, out of a total of almost 1,400 dealers for the brand in the country, Singhartinger said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at crauwald@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net