Mercedes-Benz wants a $1.6 billion makeover of U.S. stores

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 4, 2011

Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz and its dealers are finishing a $1.6 billion remodeling of U.S. stores to attract younger buyers as Mercedes expands its model lineup.

Ernst Lieb, president of Mercedes’ U.S. unit said that about 300 of Mercedes' 350 U.S. dealers will spend up to $1.4 billion to upgrade their facilities and Mercedes will contribute as much as $250 million to the project that began in 2008.

Mercedes and BMW narrowed the gap in SUV and luxury car sales in 2010 with Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus, which has held the top spot in the U.S. since 2000. In January 2011, Mercedes and BMW outsold Lexus.

Lieb also said Mercedes will have several new entries in its lineup within the next three years.

Lieb, who is set to meet dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association’s annual convention in San Francisco, said the first step is to update Mercedes’ facilities and it is now working with the dealer body on having the sales force ready to sell the new products coming to showrooms.

Mercedes already has announced an updated C-Class sedan, which was the automaker’s bestselling model in the U.S. in 2010, will arrive at the market later in 2011.

Lieb added that Mercedes aims to increase sales by more than 10 percent in 2011 on demand for other new models like the M-Class SUV and the SLK roadster. [via autonews - sub. required]

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