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Mercedes Benz India has announced a ‘direct to customer’ sales model in the country. Being christened as ‘Retail of the Future’ (ROTF), it will be implemented in India from Q4 2021 onwards. As per this new business initiative, the company will own the entire stock of cars while selling them via the appointed Franchise Partners. The invoicing of the new cars will be done to the customers directly by Mercedes Benz. Post that, it will process the order and fulfill them on its own and simultaneously offer one transparent price to the customers with no need of any negotiation or comparison.
The ROTF program will be applicable only for new car sales as separate business lines including Customer Service, Pre-Owned cars and allied businesses will remain unchanged. All the franchise partners of MB India have collaborated in implementing ‘ROTF’ in India. It will also be beneficial for Franchise Partners of the brand as well due to lower cost structure, negligible market facing risk and zero inventory. The primary roles and responsibilities of the Mercedes-Benz franchise partners will include establishing and maintaining customer contacts, development of the market and facilitating the sale of Mercedes-Benz cars. The dealers will now be responsible for lead generation and management while the current showroom infrastructure will continue to remain the same.
Announcing this industry first ‘direct to customer’ model in India, Mr. Martin Schwenk, Managing Director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India commented, “Reimagine Excellence is our motto for 2021, and a key reason for introducing Retail of the Future is to create an enhanced luxury buying experience for our customers. This long-term strategic move will strengthen our customer focus by introducing a fundamental transition in the retail business in the market. It also will deliver a win-win solution for both customers and Franchise Partners, underscoring our clear vision for a future which is sustainable, empowering and digital. The advent of new sales channel have brought sweeping changes in customers’ aspirations and requirements, and being a customer obsessed brand, we have adapted our current business models to meet our customers’ aspirations and needs. Retail of the Future is yet another pioneering effort from Mercedes-Benz for Indian customers.”