In order to attract a younger demographic of buyers, Mercedes-Benz is investing $1.6 billion with its dealers for U.S. Store makeovers and to cover the expansion of the automaker’s vehicle lineup.
The dealers will mainly shoulder the expenditure, with 300 out of 350 of them set to spend around $1.4 billion combined for upgraded facilities. This was confirmed by Mercedes-Benz USA president Ernst Lieb. He added that Mercedes-Benz itself will provide some $250 million for the project. The US makeovers actually started back in 2008.
Mercedes is planning to introduce new models in the vehicle lineup within 3 years, which is going to help follow up a good January where Mercedes-Benz, along with BMW, sold more luxury vehicles and SUVs than erstwhile leader Lexus, Toyota’s luxury car imprint. The new models will include an update to the C-Class that’s due later in the year. The C-Class was Mercedes-Benz’s USA top-grosser for 2010. The company expects increased sales by up to over 10 percent, citing demand for new models like the M-Class SUV and the SLK roadster.
The makeovers are aimed at giving the US stores more appeal for younger prospective buyers. Add to that the new, smaller models planned to be introduced and it really looks like Mercedes-Benz is committed to capturing a bigger slice of the pie from BMW and Lexus. “When you look at our lineup today, at the low end of the luxury market, what do we have?” asked Lieb. “We have a C-Class four-door sedan, with two engine variations, and that’s it. Any one of our competitors are very rich in that segment with coupes, convertibles and other variations and different engines.”