At the brand's make meeting, those questions were answered.
"It's really going to allow dealers the flexibility to develop their own kind of digital programs" said Swickard, CEO of Swickard Auto Group, which operates four Mercedes-Benz stores and 16 other dealerships in Alaska, California, Georgia, Oregon and Washington.
As customers expect more of the vehicle-buying process to be accessible online, dealers have adopted digital approaches to selling. The ability to work with vendors they choose has long been a sticking point between dealers and automakers that have limited vendor certification programs.
Shift Digital came under scrutiny in June when Volkswagen Group of America told dealers that the vendor was involved in a data breach that affected more than 3.3 million VW and Audi customers and prospective buyers. Mercedes isn't fully cutting ties with the company, however.
"Some pieces of data management will migrate to MB corporate with assistance from a proven partner," a Mercedes spokesperson said in a statement.
Dimitris Psillakis, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, said evolving digital retail is a key part of the brand's strategy. Dealers' positive reactions to the EV and digital retail news "was an assurance that we are working very closely together in moving forward in the future, which is electric and is digital," he said.