Tag Archive | "Mercedes-Benz"

KBB Announces 2017 Best Buy Awards

IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book today announced the winners of its 2017 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards. The 2017 Honda Civic was named the Overall Best Buy of 2017, however, 11 other vehicles also took top honors for their respective categories.

“Kelley Blue Book editors went to the unprecedented choice of honoring the Honda Civic as the Overall Best Buy for the second year in a row because of the Civic’s unsurpassed all-around value,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for KBB.com. “It turns in very high marks in objective measures like resale value and cost to own, yet it also is a supremely satisfying car to drive and live with every day.”

Overall, the Honda brand took home four awards, with its new Civic also winning in the small car category. The Honda Accord and Pilot also won in the mid-size car and mid-size SUV/crossover categories, respectively.

The Chevrolet brand received the second-most Best Buy awards, with its Impala winning in the full-size car category and the automaker’s Tahoe winning in the full-size SUV/crossover category.

The 2017 Audi A4 was named the Best Buy in the luxury car segment, while the 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster took top honors in the sports/performance car segment. The best electric/hybrid was the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime.

In the small SUV/ crossover category, the 2017 Kia Sportage emerged as KBB’s Best Buy. In the luxury SUV/ crossover category, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC was honored with the top award. And for the third year in a row, Ford’s F-150 received KBB’s Best Buy award.

Lastly, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica received the best buy award for the minivan category.

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Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA Appoints New VP

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA LLC announced this week the appointment of Geoff Robinson to vice president, effective May 1, 2016.

Previously, Geoff Robinson served as vice president of marketing and chief digital officer at the company. In that role, he was responsible for defining and executing marketing and communications strategies for Mercedes-Benz Financial Services’ U.S. market. In his new role, Robinson will be responsible for financing and leasing-related sales, marketing and dealer relations activities of Mercedes-Benz and smart products in the United States. He will also be joining the company’s Americas region executive leadership team, the company notes.

“With more than 25 years in the business, Geoff brings extensive knowledge of the industry and proven leadership success to his new role,” said Peter Zieringer, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and regional head of Daimler Financial Services Americas. “He will continue to grow the strong partnerships with our brand partner, Mercedes-Benz USA, and our valued dealer network to provide exceptional experiences for our customers.”

Robinson joined the company in 1990 as an area manager. He’s since held multiple roles with increasing levels of responsibility.

“I feel fortunate that my professional journey has brought me to this new assignment, especially after spearheading some of our company’s most recent initiatives in the digital space,” said Robinson. “One of our key goals is to continuously elevate the service we provide for our customers, dealers and partners at Mercedes-Benz USA, while driving innovation forward for the future success of our organization.”

The current vice president of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Brian Fulton, will be taking on the role of president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. upon Robinson’s effective appointment. Robinson will be based in the company’s regional headquarters in Farmington Hills, Mich., according to Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA.

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Mercedes-Benz, BMW See Boost from Super Bowl Ads, Edmunds Reports

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Mercedes-Benz and BMW saw the most significant traffic spikes on Edmunds.com after ads from the two companies ran during the Super Bowl, according to a real-time analysis from Edmunds.com.

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT saw the biggest cumulative spike in traffic during the game, with a 2,189% jump over average Sunday numbers on Edmunds.com. The BMW i3 had the second biggest Super Bowl boost with a 583% traffic spike.

“Even though these two advertised vehicles are likely to be sold in small volume to niche audiences, the BMW and Mercedes brands will enjoy the overall buzz they have generated,” said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst at Edmunds.com. “Both brands will be quite happy that the millions of dollars they invested had the desired effect.”

The Lexus RC 350 was the third most popular car shown during the Super Bowl, generating a 568% spike in traffic. Other brands seeing traffic increases from Super Bowl advertising were Fiat, MINI, Chevrolet, Jeep and Kia.

“All the automakers who advertised during the Super Bowl succeeded in getting the attention of car shoppers during this big game,” said Caldwell. “But it’s a lot easier to create a big bang than it is to sustain the momentum and that will be the big challenge going forward.”

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BMW, Mercedes-Benz of Ann Arbor Dealerships Sold to Troy-based Suburban Collection

Michigan’s largest privately held automotive dealership group just got bigger, reported MichiganLive.

The Suburban Collection – a Troy-based dealership group – just announced its acquisition of BMW of Ann Arbor and Mercedes-Benz of Ann Arbor from the Charlotte, North Carolina-based Sonic Automotive, Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The company already has an established Ann Arbor presence, as it owns Ann Arbor Suburban Chevrolet Cadillac, Suburban Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, and Suburban Alfa Romeo and Fiat.

“These stores presented an ideal opportunity for the Suburban Collection to not only widen our footprint in Ann Arbor, but also to bring additional marquee brands such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz to our portfolio,” David Fischer, chairman and CEO of The Suburban Collection, said in a statement.

We look forward to bringing our sixty-five year heritage and dedication to customer service to these outstanding dealerships.”

The dealerships will now be called Suburban BMW of Ann Arbor and Suburban Mercedes-Benz of Ann Arbor, and are located at 501 Auto Mall Dr. and 570 Auto Mall Dr., respectively.

The Suburban Collection did not specify whether there would be immediate management changes at its newly acquired Ann Arbor dealerships. With the purchase, the company now employs more than 2,000 people, with operations in Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin and California.

It is the 18th-largest dealer group in the country.

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Dealership Buy/Sell Activity Jumps 60% in Q1

Irvine, CA — Kerrigan Advisors, a firm specializing in serving dealership sellers, released its quarterly report on dealership buy/sell activity in the U.S. Market. It found that such activity increased dramatically in the first quarter.

Laying out the high, average and low multiples for each franchise in the luxury and non-luxury segments for the quarter, the Kerrigan Quarterly Blue Sky Report offers a detailed view of public and private company dealership acquisition activity. In addition to the sharp spike in selling, the report found that that blue sky pricing remains high for most franchises and that the market has established a pricing floor.

“As anticipated, an increase in the number of sellers coming to market has led to a major uptick in buy/sell activity,” said Erin Kerrigan, founder and managing director of Kerrigan Advisors. “We attribute this to high blue sky prices, buyer demand for dealerships and a slowdown in dealership profit growth, meaning sellers are concerned about missing the market and want to ensure they exit on top.

“Private companies continued to dominate the market in quarter one, although public company activity rose slightly during the quarter and will likely continue to pick up after the announcement of Lithia’s acquisition of DCH,” she added. “The publics, however, are being very disciplined with their capital allocation. If they believe the better investment is their own stock, they are choosing a stock buyback over an acquisition. In the first quarter, collectively, they chose to spend 70% more on their own stock than on U.S. acquisitions.”

The firm found that buy/sell activity increased 60% in the first quarter and that more sellers are coming to market to capitalize on high blue sky values that may fade as earning growth slows. Blue sky values remain at elevated levels as dealership earnings continue to grow, albeit more slowly; and multiples remain high or reach higher levels.

The multiples for Honda, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus and Porsche have increased since 2013, the report noted. As competition for auto retail market share heats up, buyers are placing an even higher premium on these franchises. And with the average dealership earning an annual 28% return on equity, few dealers are willing to sell their franchises for less than a 3x blue sky multiple in today’s market.

“While the future continues to look rosy for dealership acquisitions, we will likely start to see some negative shifts as increasing competition for car sales brings blue sky winners and losers,” Kerrigan concluded.

To read the full report, click here.

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Mercedes Recalls 253K C-Class Cars in U.S. to Fix Tail Lights

Via The Detroit News

Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz unit said it is calling back nearly 253,000 2008-11 vehicles, including the C300, C350, C63 built from 2007 through mid-2011, in the United States to address tail lights.

Mercedes-Benz said “a poor electrical ground connection may result in the dimming or failure of the tail lights” and that “dimming or failure of the tail lights reduces the ability to warn other motorists of the driver’s intentions of stopping or turning, increasing the risk of a crash.”

The automaker will notify owners in June of the recall and then Mercedes-Benz says parts will be available in August or September. Dealers will replace the bulb holders if not previously updated and replace any corroded connectors.

Mercedes-Benz said in 2009 that it had five reports of problems of oxidation causing the tail lights to dim. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation last year and upgraded it to an engineering analysis. After NHTSA sought more information last month, Mercedes-Benz opted to issue the recall.

In December, NHTSA said it had reports of more than 400 complaints, five crashes and one injury. It also said Mercedes-Benz had received more than 23,000 warranty claims related to the issue.

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