Mercedes-Benz to start online sales in select Europe cities by the end of the year

Article by Anita Panait, on August 14, 2013

Mercedes-Benz will commence online sales of its vehicles in German and Polish cities by the end of 2013. Customers in Hamburg and Warsaw will be able to order and finance new cars via online shops, Mercedes said in a statement, adding that these Internet-based sales shops will provide the carmaker with important information on how customers respond to such a digital sales channel.

Once a customer has ordered and chose a finance package, he will be required visit a Mercedes dealer for a "final sales administration phase." A Mercedes spokeswoman told Automotive News Europe that customers could either pick up their units at a dealer, or have the vehicle delivered straight to them.

Customers will also be able to set test drives online at a place they prefer. According to Mercedes, company-owned and franchised dealers will still be the most important customer contact points for all activities.

Dealers will still be available to customers as a point of contact after the vehicle purchase. Mercedes said that the inner-city formats will “all channel new customers to the classic dealerships." The spokeswoman added to Automotive News Europe that Mercedes offer its most popular units and high-end cars through its Mercedes-Benz Connection Online store.

Although the models available online will be pre-configured, they will be available with the features customers typically order. Mercedes is planning to launch the online sales service in other cities. Tim Urquhart, an analyst for IHS Automotive, told Automotive News Europe that Mercedes’ online shops will help the carmaker reach younger, more tech-savvy, and urban customers.

The new Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is set to pioneer a new segment. As designed, the new CLA features a forward-looking coupé design and the optional 4MATIC all-wheel drive. Moreover, its BlueEFFICIENCY Edition boasts of having the best aerodynamics in the world. It is heavily influenced by the CLS, which had been such an overwhelming success that other carmakers have been encouraged to copy its design concept.

Mercedes’ new CLA offering is provided, as standard, with the Collision Prevention Assist, a radar-based braking system that could provide a warning about an obstacle from speeds of 7 km/h, and then initiate precision braking as soon as the driver steps on the brake.

Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, remarked that there was an overwhelming response on the Concept Style Coupé, with most people commenting that this car should be put into series production. In response, Mercedes has finally put this concept into series production with the new CLA, which Zetsche called as a car that doesn’t confuse mid-range with mediocrity. He noted that the power design of the new CLA highlights the brand’s sporty side.

In line with CLA’s sporty positioning, the CLA could be powered by high-torque turbocharged engines that could provide up to 155 kW (211 hp) of output. Along with the 4MATIC all-wheel drive, the new CLA is available with sports suspension. Interestingly, the BlueEFFICIENCY Edition has set a new world record in aerodynamics for series production vehicles, after posting a very low coefficient of drag value of just 0.22 Cd.

Furthermore, the new CLA comes with an array of driving assistance systems, including the Collision Prevention Assist that provides visual and acoustic warnings of identified obstacles on the road. Then Collision Prevention Assist gets the adaptive Brake Assist system ready for precision braking, with the braking action initiated as soon as the brake pedal is pressed.

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