US dealers get $2,500 on customer care for each Mercedes-Benz S-Class sold

Article by Anita Panait, on December 3, 2013

Mercedes-Benz USA has allotted up to $2,500 that dealers could use to take care of each buyer of the redesigned S class. Dealers could use the amount for a quick car service, even without factory preapproval, according to chief executive Steve Cannon. The money could also be used on perks like free dinners.

The allotment comes under a new program, dubbed as MB Select that was launched when the carmaker started selling the redesigned 2014 S-class sedan in September 2013 in the United States.

It was part of Mercedes’ bid to hike its reputation for customer care. The new CLA has been included in the program, in which the dealers could spend up to $1,000 per buyer of the front-wheel-drive sedan. The program will be extended to other models, Cannon said.

Mercedes so far has fallen behind rivals in customer service, ranking ninth of 11 luxury brands in the 2013 J.D. Power and Associates Customer Service Index Study. Mercedes-Benz USA has told dealers to spend the amount as they see fit, with "no questions asked."

For example, Cannon cited an instance that an owner of a new S class had to go back to his dealer to have a certain problem fixed, the dealer did not only apologize and fixe the issue, but provided a gift card for the best restaurant in town.

"The problem was fixed immediately, but we said that does not happen with the S class, the best car in the world. Dinner is on us," Cannon said during an interview with Automotive at the Los Angeles Auto Show. He remarked that the customer was “so thrilled” that he returned the next day and bought an SL.

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