Mercedes-Benz USA has worked to improve new-vehicle quality, trim its costs and work force and restructure its dealer and customer relations programs. Now the company wants its dealers to step up.
Starting Jan. 1, Mercedes-Benz is tying 3 percentage points of the base margin it pays dealers on every new vehicle they sell to the achievement of performance and sales goals. It is raising the overall margin to 13 percent of sticker price from 12.25 percent.
Mercedes dealers who upgrade their stores will get more vehicles to sell and a $400 bonus per vehicle.
Mercedes-Benz previously did not link its dealer margin to performance, says CEO Ernst Lieb.
"It is clear what we are trying to do — to help dealers who are having issues with performance to rise up," Lieb told Automotive News. "We want everyone to be on a certain level, so we can deliver what we are promising our customers."