"Our goal is to be the online destination to source Mercedes-Benz wholesale inventory," said Al Katz, general manager of pre-owned, remarketing and fleet operations at Mercedes-Benz USA.
Private online marketplaces give automakers more control over wholesale values, which helps drive higher residual values, said Nick Peluso, president of Manheim Digital Marketplace as well as RMS Automotive, a Cox Automotive company that operates the MBonDemand portal.
Sixt vehicles listed on MBonDemand go through Mercedes-Benz USA pricing. But Sixt can override the prices and it often does, Peluso told Automotive News. The overridden prices from Sixt could be higher or lower than those recommended by Mercedes-Benz USA.
For dealers, the private marketplace provides a larger supply of specific inventory from which to choose.
For third-party sellers such as Sixt, MBonDemand offers a channel to remarket fleet vehicles and get access to buyers interested in a specific vehicle brand.
"We are always looking at better ways to sell our vehicles and remarket vehicles," said Todd Sazera, executive vice president of Sixt U.S. "We felt that if we have a larger network of dealers interested in Mercedes-Benz products, we could get our cars to more viewers, rather than just running them to local auctions and dealer-direct."
Luxury vehicles account for at least half of Sixt's rental fleet, with Mercedes-Benz vehicles accounting for about 15 percent of the fleet. Most Sixt vehicles listed on MBonDemand are 2017 and 2018 models that have been driven 10,000 to 20,000 miles.
"We want our customers to be in the cleanest and most current model cars," Sazera said. "Our average fleet holding period is between seven and nine months."