Mercedes-Benz India rolls out new 'Retail of the Future' sales model

Simran Rastogi Updated: October 22, 2021, 02:29 PM IST

'Retail of the Future' may be a big claim, but with Mercedes-Benz India rolling out its new direct-to-customer sales model, we guess time will tell just how game-changing this new retail model will be. Announced in June of this year, the 'Retail of the Future' sales model promises increased transparency in the car-buying process, for customers, as well its dealer partners, with the end result being an emphasis on the customer experience. Customers will now purchase their cars directly from Mercedes-Benz, which will own the entire stock of vehicles, while the dealers will have to stock zero inventory and thus be at less risk from market fluctuations in demand. For Mercedes-Benz, India represents the first CKD market, and only the fourth market internationally, in which this model has been rolled out.

Santosh Iyer, Vice President- Sales & Marketing, Mercedes-Benz India, Mohan Nariwala, MD Auto Hangar and Martin Schwenk, Managing Director & CEO

For the customer, each car will be purchased directly from Mercedes-Benz India, and be offered at the same price across the country, negating the need for negotiations on the table. The customer also benefits from having access to the complete inventory of cars; especially beneficial in the case of ordering a specific colour that a dealer might not otherwise have access to, which would have in the past forced the customer to choose a different colour to ensure timely delivery. With the new direct sales model, this issue will likely be one of the past.

With regards to the dealer, while they will still handle the sales and delivery of the vehicle to the customer, they will not be required to stock a vast inventory to take care of customer demand, lessening their risk. The dealer will also be under less of a burden with regards to discounts, and thus be able to concentrate on the customer experience.

At the announcement of Retail of the Future in India, Martin Schwenk, Managing Director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India commented, "In June 2021, we announced a disruptive retail business model which is highly customer-centric and promised a seamless, Omnichannel and transparent experience to our customers. Today, we are proud to implement the 'Retail of the Future' in India after successfully establishing a robust digital backbone, which will support this significant transition in our retail business. ROTF is a unique customer-centric business model, which caters to the evolving trends of our customers while empowering our Franchise Partners by significantly reducing their financial and operational risks in the market. ROTF further supports our quest toward creating customer excellence as the Franchise Partners will now solely compete on providing a superlative customer experience."

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