In May, as a purchasing incentive, Mercedes-Benz USA is offering free scheduled maintenance for most of their certified pre-owned vehicles. Dealer managers are fans of the program as they believe that not only will it inspire new customers to visit Mercedes but it will also give customers a reason to use the dealers’ service department instead of others. In the short run it does remove a significant source of income but dealers believe that it will be outweighed in the future. The president of the Mercedes-Benz USA Dealer Board, Jay Agresta, noted, “Yes, you do lose the opportunity to sell that one product, but it does tie the customer to our service department. It’s an attractive incentive to get customers in the door, and it gives them an incentive to come back in the future, so it benefits us two ways.”
I just thought that this was an interesting article, especially following our class speaker yesterday. He had emphasized the service department and warranties as a significant source of income for dealers. This program takes away income from both in the short term, but hopefully will add to the companies’ income overall in the longterm.