Daimler cuts the dealer network

Autogroep Daimler, owner of Mercedes-Benz, will cut its network. The group wants to sell 25 showrooms and repair spaces in Belgium, the UK and Spain to investors. The intent is to reduce costs.

The sale should bring in between 30-40 million euros per site, bringing the total revenue to one billion, writes the German newspaper Handelsblatt and the news was confirmed at Daimler’s headquarters in Germany.

Selling does not mean closing, according to Daimler. A spokesman for the group in Germany said: “In negotiations with interested parties, the long-term activity and continuation of Mercedes-Benz in those locations will be the highest priority.” The goal is to provide employees with long-term prospects while at the same time providing clients with the best possible on-site support. According to Handelsblatt, about 2,800 people work in 25 showrooms and repair shops.

It is indicated in Daimler Belgium that it relates only to its “own” sales points. “They make up only a small minority of the 78 points of sale of new passenger cars in Belgium,” the spokeswoman said. It also asserts that it is “intent” and that in fact nothing has been decided yet. But the momentum is good.”

Order online

Daimler is not the first car group to rethink its dealer network. Two weeks ago, Stellantis, which sells the Peugeot-Citroën and Fiat Chrysler car brands, announced that it was canceling contracts with all of its European dealers. For Belgium and Luxembourg, this concerns 80 merchants, who often have several points of sale.

The auto sector itself says that customers are increasingly comparing and ordering more cars online, so fewer physical points of sale are needed. The rise of the electric car also plays a role: These types of cars require less maintenance. Finally, new European competition rules for the automotive sector will come into effect from 2023 (Block Exemption Regulations, BER) In process.

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The sale should bring in between 30-40 million euros per site, bringing the total revenue to one billion, writes the German newspaper Handelsblatt and the news was confirmed at Daimler’s headquarters in Germany. Selling does not mean closing, according to Daimler. A spokesman for the group in Germany said: “In negotiations with interested parties, the long-term activity and continuation of Mercedes-Benz in those locations will be the highest priority.” The goal is to provide employees with long-term prospects while at the same time providing clients with the best possible on-site support. According to Handelsblatt, about 2,800 people work in 25 showrooms and repair shops. It is indicated in Daimler Belgium that it relates only to its “own” sales points. “They make up only a small minority of the 78 points of sale of new passenger cars in Belgium,” the spokeswoman said. It also asserts that it is “intent” and that in fact nothing has been decided yet. “But the momentum is good.” Daimler is not the first car group to rethink its dealer network. Two weeks ago, Stellantis, which sells the Peugeot-Citroën and Fiat Chrysler car brands, announced that it was canceling contracts with all of its European dealers. For Belgium and Luxembourg, this concerns 80 merchants, who often have several points of sale. The auto sector itself says that customers are increasingly comparing and ordering more cars online, so fewer physical points of sale are needed. The rise of the electric car also plays a role: These types of cars require less maintenance. Finally, new European competition rules for the automotive sector (Block Exemption Regulations, BER) will come into effect from 2023.

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