Sandown Motors managing director Gavin McAllister has been appointed head of Mercedes-Benz franchise board.
The change comes simply over three months after the German premium model rolled out its new direct-to-consumer company mannequin automobile retail distribution technique – in a transfer that some retailers really feel has already detrimentally impacted gross sales – McAllister will assume the put up with quick impact.
Mercedes-Benz UK chief govt and managing director Gary Savage mentioned: “Sandown Group is a powerful performer in our community and Gavin may be very nicely revered by members of the franchise board, the broader Mercedes-Benz community and the crew at Milton Keynes.
“I’m trying ahead to working even nearer with Gavin and the franchise board given the alternatives and challenges we face available in the market at this time: the collaboration with our brokers and companions stays as essential as ever.”
Sandown is Mercedes-Benz’s present Retailer of the Yr award winner and operates 9 automobile franchises with the model.
McAllister replaces former Drayton Motors director and Lookers Mercedes-Benz franchise director David Williams, who has been a member of the franchise board for over 20 years, after he determined to retire.
Mercedes mentioned that David had performed a key position within the creation of the Mercedes-Benz market areas firstly of the brand new millennium and extra lately has led the franchise board by way of the model’s transition to an company mannequin.
Paying tribute to Williams’ tenure, Savage mentioned he had all the time “robustly challenged and supported our enterprise initiatives”, contributing to gross sales development that peaked in 2017 at 180,970 autos.
He added: “Extra lately, the franchise board, led by David, performed an integral position as we formulated our plans to maneuver from a distribution contract to an company contract.
“I’m in little doubt that with out David’s perception, steering and power we might not have efficiently rolled out company inside our deliberate timescales.”
In a particular information perception report into the roll-out of company mannequin agreements throughout the UK automobile retail sector AM reported that the primary month of Mercedes’ new retail mannequin had seen companions report order take down by 40%, sparking considerations that the OEMs’ transition to a extra luxury-oriented future – promising higher margins – may not come quickly sufficient to mitigate the impression of falling gross sales.
In a transfer that appeared to fly within the face of the mounted worth ethos of company mannequin retail, customers additionally “kicked up a stink” when Mercedes-Benz UK discounted its A-Class hatchback by £3,000 on a single weekend in January to spice up volumes, AM was advised.