Mercedes-Benz sells most London franchises to Sytner as part of exit strategy.
US giant Penske Automotive Group, which owns Sytner, is understood to be purchasing the north London dealerships of Mercedes-Benz Retail Group. Completion of the deal is expected in the third quarter of 2022. The sale is thought to include the aftersales operations in Chelsea, Heathrow and Stratford.
Mercedes sell-off of its owned dealerships began in 2016 when it sold the Manchester and Birmingham market areas to Chinese-owned LSH 14 years after it was formed. Rumours of the sale of the London dealerships had been circulating ever since. The manufacturer had stated early in 2021 that it was examining the potential sale of the Mercedes-Benz Retail Group.
Mercedes operated nine London showrooms until the end of 2021 when it sold its Epsom business to Sandown Motors.
Mercedes-Benz World in Weybridge and the sites in Croydon, West Bromley and Dartford, are not being sold to Sytner.
Sytner is currently Mercedes biggest partner in the UK with 14 franchises.
While Penske has not been a proponent of switching from franchised to agency agreements, Auto Retail Network’s sources suggest Mercedes planned move to agency agreements aided the sale.
Under the new sales model, manufacturers pay a fixed fee to retailers for each new car sold plus a fee for sale costs.
This means stock will be financed by the manufacturer as well as stock locations – often costly in urban areas.