Mercedes-Benz franchisees have been challenged to think hard about their business opportunities when manufacturer direct sales take off.
UK chief executive Gary Savage believes it is “an inevitability” that carmakers’ national sales companies will take on direct sales of new cars to consumers in the future, but he is convinced it is not a threat to dealers.
“In reality, to genuinely be able to realise online selling, you have to do it direct. Because of all the components of competition law, you have to be in a position where you can set the selling price, in order to offer the customer the best price consistently,” he said.
As such, direct sales couldn’t happen overnight, but he was unwilling to suggest a timeframe for the development.