Mercedes starts own used-autos site in Germany
09 Sep 2017
Updated – 15 Sep 2017
It’s fresh competition for Germany’s big auto sites: at next week’s international auto show in Frankfurt, Mercedes-Benz will officially launch a used-autos platform that allows buyers to order from dealers, according to a report on Kfz-Betrieb (in German). (This was later confirmed by Mercedes-Benz.) The online store soft-launched in June.
Before then, buyers could search the Mercedes site for used autos and see offers from dealers in their area, but had to contact dealers directly to purchase.
“The brand is increasingly relying on digitalization in its sales formats. The goal is to address new target groups and at the same time ensure that customers remain loyal to the brand,” Meri Todorovic, a spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz, told the AIM Group.
The platform still has some limitations, however. Buyers cannot pay by bank transfer. Financing and leasing, however, are available through the Mercedes-Benz Bank. It’s Germany’s first auto financier to offer “video legitimation” to conclude contracts, meaning that users can verify their identity via video, said the Kfz-Betrieb article.
The new platform lists autos that are no older than 6 years, have a maximum of 120,000 kilometers and offer at least a one-year warranty. There are currently around 47,000 listings. “We started with all company-owned Mercedes-Benz locations and four selected authorized agents. Further dealers will be added successively,” said Todorvic.
That’s almost half of the approximately 107,000 used Mercedes autos listed by dealers on Germany’s No. 1 auto platform Mobile.de, and more than half of those listed on No. 2 AutoScout24. Since Mercedes is allowing all certified dealers to participate (list on the site), its platform is providing a selling channel for a large number, which could impact business for the leading sites.
Mercedes-Benz is the first German car maker to offer an online buying option. Volkswagen, Audi, BMW and Porsche have used-auto sites that list ads from dealers and connect them with prospective buyers, but they don’t facilitate purchases.
Todorovic said the online store is being piloted only in Germany but would not comment on Mercedes’ future strategy.