Mercedes-Benz is preparing to revise its dealership standards, in line with an initiative to appeal to younger consumers. No changes to Mercedes’ US dealership standards are expected soon, according to Jens Thiemer, head of brand communications for Mercedes-Benz Cars. In an interview in November at the Tokyo Motor Show, Thiemer stressed that Mercedes is planning to implement changes in marketing and branding to become more relevant to a new group of consumers.
He said that he targets to reposition Mercedes so that younger buyers perceive it as "not just a brand that they say, 'That's a brand I [will] buy later' or 'That's a brand my parents buy' but 'That's a brand for me right now.'"
Thiemer has received orders from Ola Kaellenius, executive vice president for sales and marketing at Mercedes-Benz Cars, to go beyond the brand's traditional buyers. While the average age of an S-class buyer in China is 30 to 35, US buyers are usually those aged 50 years and above. To change that, Mercedes is launching a compact car like the CLA.
According to Thiemer, the CLA’s base sticker price of $30,825, including shipping, makes it possible to target buyers in the 30-35 age bracket. Thiemer’s role will be to make the brand's marketing communications "really relevant to younger people, to modernize it and to bring in a new language" that will link into Mercedes' vehicle design language, known as "sensual purity."
To achieve that, Thiemer said they want to break out from the Mercedes stereotypes. He said that while the Mercedes will still be known for "comfort, quality and safety," it will also be known as “fascinating and modern.”