Mercedes-Benz initiates ‘direct to customer’ vehicle sales model in India under ‘Retail of the Future’


Mercedes-Benz has implemented its industry first ‘Retail of the Future’ (ROTF) business model in India, paving way for a new retail model in the country. Under this ‘direct to customer’ model which was first announced in June 2021, customers will directly buy the luxury vehicles from the brand rather than going through the dealer partner. The dealerships, however, will play an important role in Mercedes’ new ROTF model, that, the company says, won’t be replacing the dealer partners.

The ROTF model has been launched after the successful beta testing phase from the company’s Metro Auto Hangar dealership located in South Mumbai.

Under the new retail model, Mercedes-Benz India will retain the ownership of the entire stock of cars and retail them via appointed Franchise Partners, by invoicing them directly to the customers. Mercedes-Benz will also be responsible for processing and fulfilling the customer orders. This also means there will be One Price Pan India. 

Mercedes-Benz says that the model will be a ‘new benchmark in transparency’ and will provide ‘customer convenience’. In addition, customers will also have a direct access to national stock giving them a higher visibility to select their desired products from across markets. 

Martin Schwenk, Managing Director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India commented, “We are proud to implement the ‘Retail of the Future’ in India after successfully establishing a robust digital backbone, which will support this significant transition in our retail business. With ROTF, we have created a completely unified customer journey experience with many industry-first initiatives to its credit. For the first time in India, there are no incidental or extra charges for the customers. Customers now have a direct access to Mercedes-Benz India’s national stock with a wide variety of inventory choices.”

Customers can book a car by simply paying an amount of Rs 50,000 and for the first time in India, VIN number will be confirmed with order booking. The franchise partner will deliver the car at the customer’s doorstep or delivery at the showroom after full payment to Mercedes.

ROTF will be applicable only for new car sales and will not alter the functioning of separate business lines including customer service, pre-owned cars and allied businesses. 

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Sagar Biswas

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