Paul Barker's blog: 30th May 2013 - Mercedes continues to get serious about fleet
30 May 2013
Paul Barker is editor of BusinessCar
Mercedes has been building its fleet operation over the past couple of years, and the agreement it announced with Leasedrive is a clever next step in the process.
It opens up a couple of new growth avenues for the German marque that has previously stated its intention to pass BMW and Audi to become the UK's top business car brand.
The ability to offer rival manufacturers' models will be useful at a time where some fleets, anecdotally at least, have been cutting back onthe number of badge options they offer drivers, while adding fleet and risk management products is also a nice move.
So Mercedes is making the right structural moves, and the product is increasingly relevant in efficiency and appeal terms to fleet buyers used to considering Merc's rivals more intently.
The biggest challenge for the German brand will probably be holding its nerve and growing gently and organically, rather than giving in to the temptation to snatch high-volume/low-profit business that may be on offer, but would damage residuals.
However, linking with Leasedrive, a company that prides itself on the quality of business rather than chasing quantity, is a good step.
And if it all goes sparklingly well then who knows, maybe we'll even see Mercedes taking a stake in the UK's largest independent leasing firm at some point in the coming years.