Mercedes-Benz prepares to revise its dealership standards

Article by Christian A., on December 9, 2013

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.”

The looks of the new Mercedes CLA are basically defined by its dynamic design idiom and sporty proportions, as complemented by harmonious interplay between concave and convex surfaces.

As expected, the new CLA has a number of stunning visual elements like the dynamic bonnet with powerdomes as well as its diamond radiator grille. The new CLA also boasts of the so-called "flare effect" for the daytime driving lights and indicators, as made possible by the unique arrangement of the light modules and light emitting diode units behind the headlamp cover glass. This flare effect helps the new CLA exude a new appearance.

On the design level, there are a number of indicators telling that the CLA is indeed a further development of the Mercedes CLS. These include the three prominent lines lend the sides of the CLA some structure. One of these is the characteristic dropping line that marks the culmination of the connection between front structural edge and the rear end. Another line runs over the shoulder muscle above the rear axle. The third feature line, meanwhile, flows in a sweeping curve from the front wheel towards the rear.

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