Goodbye Mercedes Retail Group

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daveenty

MB Enthusiast
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Joined
May 12, 2007
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Location
NW UK
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S63 Coupe
I have used a Mercedes owned dealership for the last 10 or so years as, rightly or wrongly, I've believed that I get a better service than using a franchised dealer.

However, whilst I was hovering around waiting for my car to be serviced in my local one yesterday, I was told yesterday that they will no longer be owned by Mercedes anymore as they are in the process of being taken over by a company by the name of LSH Auto UK Ltd. This will initially affect the Birmingham and Manchester areas, mine's changing this Friday 01.07.2016, though ultimately Nationwide. I was also told the surmised reason, in that MB want to be known as a manufacturer and not a retail outlet which, to be honest, I'm a bit disappointed in, though apparently nothing will change within the dealerships from a customer perspective. We shall wait and see about this one...

Apparently the parent company of LSH are a Multi National Chinese owned company, who also own Caterpillar amongst others, and already own lots of Mercedes dealerships throughout Asia and the far East, including Australasia. I was told that they have built an AMG Centre outside Sydney Opera House of palatial proportions which, if that trend continues over here, may be a good thing for Brooklands...

The takeover information has just been confirmed in a letter this morning, though it's anyone's guess as to how it will operate. I hate change. :devil:
 
I think there's been a similar post somewhere else on the forum with an article extract from some publication. I've been looking at Stratstone's stock of MB used cars over the past few months and their stock has dwindled with no "new" used cars being added, I assume they must be part of the "Retail Group".
 
I've been looking at Stratstone's stock of MB used cars over the past few months and their stock has dwindled with no "new" used cars being added, I assume they must be part of the "Retail Group".

Nope. Stratstones are what they are badged as. MB Retail are just that, owned by Mercedes and not an independent franchisee.
 
I've no idea how it makes any difference at all. What do you think you gain from dealing with MB retail?
 
I heard similar from MB London. In practice, it probably means no change though, as the majority of dealerships operate on a franchise basis.

I have a choice of MB Retail and Franchise dealers close to me, but always use the franchise dealers as the speak to a call centre approach to enquiries wind me up a treat, and removes the possibility of negotiation.
 
Read more here
 
I've no idea how it makes any difference at all. What do you think you gain from dealing with MB retail?

Well, I got treated a lot better than my other local dealer who are independently owned for a start, especially on the service side of things.

I've never met a more ignorant person than their service receptionist, possibly due to the fact that I was scruffily dressed at the time. This was nearly 10 years ago and I felt belittled by her, even though I was trying to book a three year old E55 AMG in for a service. Suffice to say they never got the job, and I went to the next one in locality to me who were MB Retail.

Chalk and cheese, but that receptionist cost her company all my servicing and a couple of used car sales.

A personal thing possibly, but I wonder how many other people did the same thing at the time?
 
So you're going completely off one receptionist? Hmmm


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The local MB parts counter that I have been using for the last few years in Brighton has recently stopped doing MB parts. They also sell parts of other manufacturers and are continuing the business with them.
I asked an employee why they were stopping stocking MB parts and they said that MB had increased the cost of operation and it wasn't worth their while to continue. I asked if they were selling off old stock cheap but unfortunately MB had come & taken the lot so the stuff wasn't sold off cheap.

The other local MB parts counter is part of the main Brighton dealership, which just happens to be next door to the one I used. The last time I ordered some insignificant part from them (probably called them by mistake to place the order!) I was told that I couldn't go to the parts counter any more- I had to speak to one of the salespeople on the showroom floor. Long story short- I had to wait around for well over an hour while he and a few others blundered around trying to figure out where my parts were, then when they found them how much they cost etc. etc. All the while I was attempting to keep my 1 year old entertained. It was an embarrassing and frustrating experience for all.

I guess they've done this for your average new MB customer who wants to buy a set of floor mats or a nice MB hat who they want to keep away from all those dreadful oily types who hang out around the parts counter. It's a completely unsuitable setup for someone like me who's trying to keep an old MB on the road and just wants to pop in & pick up some decent parts, maybe find the right part on the EPC with the counter guy or get some advice. I'm not interested in overpriced watches, toy cars or pens.

I've checked around and my next nearest dealership is too far to make the drive. This place is near enough that I can cycle to it if need be.

I recently spoke to an employee of the dealership who agreed that the situation was ridiculous.
I wonder if this is all connected with the reorganisation of their retail channels.

Are there any helpful/knowledgeable UK genuine MB parts suppliers that I can order from online/over the phone with sensible delivery cost?
 
chilsta said:
The local MB parts counter that I have been using for the last few years in Brighton has recently stopped doing MB parts. They also sell parts of other manufacturers and are continuing the business with them. I asked an employee why they were stopping stocking MB parts and they said that MB had increased the cost of operation and it wasn't worth their while to continue. I asked if they were selling off old stock cheap but unfortunately MB had come & taken the lot so the stuff wasn't sold off cheap. The other local MB parts counter is part of the main Brighton dealership, which just happens to be next door to the one I used. The last time I ordered some insignificant part from them (probably called them by mistake to place the order!) I was told that I couldn't go to the parts counter any more- I had to speak to one of the salespeople on the showroom floor. Long story short- I had to wait around for well over an hour while he and a few others blundered around trying to figure out where my parts were, then when they found them how much they cost etc. etc. All the while I was attempting to keep my 1 year old entertained. It was an embarrassing and frustrating experience for all. I guess they've done this for your average new MB customer who wants to buy a set of floor mats or a nice MB hat who they want to keep away from all those dreadful oily types who hang out around the parts counter. It's a completely unsuitable setup for someone like me who's trying to keep an old MB on the road and just wants to pop in & pick up some decent parts, maybe find the right part on the EPC with the counter guy or get some advice. I'm not interested in overpriced watches, toy cars or pens. I've checked around and my next nearest dealership is too far to make the drive. This place is near enough that I can cycle to it if need be. I recently spoke to an employee of the dealership who agreed that the situation was ridiculous. I wonder if this is all connected with the reorganisation of their retail channels. Are there any helpful/knowledgeable UK genuine MB parts suppliers that I can order from online/over the phone with sensible delivery cost?


Yes Mb Newcastle

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/121284338915
 
The local MB parts counter that I have been using for the last few years in Brighton has recently stopped doing MB parts. They also sell parts of other manufacturers and are continuing the business with them.
I asked an employee why they were stopping stocking MB parts and they said that MB had increased the cost of operation and it wasn't worth their while to continue. I asked if they were selling off old stock cheap but unfortunately MB had come & taken the lot so the stuff wasn't sold off cheap.

The other local MB parts counter is part of the main Brighton dealership, which just happens to be next door to the one I used. The last time I ordered some insignificant part from them (probably called them by mistake to place the order!) I was told that I couldn't go to the parts counter any more- I had to speak to one of the salespeople on the showroom floor. Long story short- I had to wait around for well over an hour while he and a few others blundered around trying to figure out where my parts were, then when they found them how much they cost etc. etc. All the while I was attempting to keep my 1 year old entertained. It was an embarrassing and frustrating experience for all.

I guess they've done this for your average new MB customer who wants to buy a set of floor mats or a nice MB hat who they want to keep away from all those dreadful oily types who hang out around the parts counter. It's a completely unsuitable setup for someone like me who's trying to keep an old MB on the road and just wants to pop in & pick up some decent parts, maybe find the right part on the EPC with the counter guy or get some advice. I'm not interested in overpriced watches, toy cars or pens.

I've checked around and my next nearest dealership is too far to make the drive. This place is near enough that I can cycle to it if need be.

I recently spoke to an employee of the dealership who agreed that the situation was ridiculous.
I wonder if this is all connected with the reorganisation of their retail channels.

Are there any helpful/knowledgeable UK genuine MB parts suppliers that I can order from online/over the phone with sensible delivery cost?

Inchcape?
Mercedes-Benz Parts, Inchcape

stwat beat me to it!
 
Last edited:
So you're going completely off one receptionist? Hmmm


Yep. One receptionist. Who was my first point of contact, consequently the face of the company as far as I was concerned. This was in a place I'd never been in before, and she managed to successfully ignore me and act so disdainfully that I've never been back since.
 
Yep. One receptionist. Who was my first point of contact, consequently the face of the company as far as I was concerned. This was in a place I'd never been in before, and she managed to successfully ignore me and act so disdainfully that I've never been back since.



So that's a negative for that dealership. Says nothing about MB Retail or any other dealership though


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Answers my question on MB WORLD thanks.
Birmingham and Manchester dealers not London area

Hi Graeme, sorry missed your earlier post. Not affecting Southern dealers at the moment, though allegedly may within 12 months or so.
 
@JBD

You asked in post 5: "What do you think you gain from dealing with MB retail?"

I answered in post 8: "Well, I got treated a lot better than my other local dealer who are independently owned for a start, especially on the service side of things."

I also explained my negative experience with said dealership.

You now say in post 14: "So that's a negative for that dealership. Says nothing about MB Retail or any other dealership though"

To me it says everything. The nameless dealership saw fit to employ a person with no people skills. The MB retail group dealer who I used had friendly staff.

Had it been the other way round I'd have been exactly the same, praising the other dealer. But it wasn't and yes, first impressions matter a lot to me. I would walk away from anywhere where the staff haven't got the manners to at least greet you politely.
 
I guess that's fair enough. I was just interested to know what people thought MB retail did that others don't. I was hoping it was something of more gravitas


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You get good and bad in both franchised and none franchised dealerships/groups and to me makes no difference. I actually have to travel out of the area to a different franchised group dealership as I refuse to do any business with my local dealership group (the entire service team and service manager are useless tw*ts).
 

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