Mercedes goes online for electric SUV sales

You can buy groceries, white goods and clothes online, now you can add a Mercedes-Benz to your virtual shopping cart.

Mercedes-Benz Australia will introduce the option to buy the all-new EQC electric SUV via its website as part of a new sales program specific to the car. Instead of selling vehicles to its dealers, Mercedes-Benz Australia will retain ownership of all EQC stock and sell directly to customers via an online portal. 

However, the company has selected nine dealerships around the country (predominantly in the capital cities) where potential customers will be able to test drive and inspect the SUV; as well as having the option to order online at the dealership. 

Because Mercedes-Benz Australia will control all the stock in the country, every EQC will be priced from $137,900 plus on-road costs and any options selected by the customers. The car will be delivered via the dealership, which will earn a commission from Mercedes.

According to Jason Nomikos, director of Network Development and Customer Management at Mercedes-Benz Australia, the arrival of the EQC created the opportunity to experiment with the sales experience as the company will have limited stock for the foreseeable future.

“This is the ideal moment to create an innovative buying experience,” he said.

“Believe it or not, there is a growing desire to buy everything, even cars, online.”

He explained that one of the big advantages of this new sales model is customers will be able to browse all national stock, not just local cars, via the company’s webpage. It means customers can choose from any model available and then have it delivered to the closest of the nine dealerships, with any delivery fees included in the on-road costs.

Nomikos admits there have been mixed responses from dealers, as the role of the dealership is reduced and they lose the ability to negotiate the price. He acknowledged there have been some “robust” discussions with dealers but it may only be the beginning.

While initially limited to the EQC, all forthcoming EQ models will be sold the same way. And Nomikos isn’t ruling out expanding it to other vehicles in the Mercedes range, specifically AMGs.

“We’re looking at all options,” he said. “We think there’s a lot of value to it.”