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.