Mercedes wants to profit more from the success of its G-Class and is lowering the discounts for dealers starting in March

  • The boxy cult car has been built since 1979 and is currently being snatched from the hands of the trade – from which the manufacturer would like to profit even more.
  • The high-horsepower, high-consumption, and high-emission all-wheel-drive cars weigh heavily on the CO2 balance of the Mercedes fleet, and the efficiency traffic light of the G-AMG models is set to deep red.
  • The top version already costs over 160,000 euros as a “cash model,” and with popular optional extras it quickly adds up to 200,000 euros.
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Mercedes-Benz is lowering dealers’ margins in the business of its G-Class heavy off-road vehicles (W 463 series). “As of the order date of March 1, 2021, a uniform recycler discount of 3 percent (of which factory share 1 percent) will now apply to the customer segments fleet stars 1 (5GE) and sales representatives/franchisees (FHV),” reads a letter from the Stuttgart-based Daimler brand’s “Marketing Programs Team.” The confidential communication, marked with priority “High,” is available to Business Insider.

Mercedes had previously granted the above-mentioned sales partners a five percent recycling discount. Together with the 13 percent basic margin that the manufacturer grants to dealers, this allowed a comfortable 18 percent margin to be realized. Now, this drops to 16 percent for sellers to operators of smaller fleets (fewer than four cars).

In Mercedes circles, the surprising reduction in the trade-in discount is believed to be due to two factors. First, the iconic G-Class – first launched in 1979, the year of the second oil crisis – is in such high demand in places such as the Arab world and Russia that delivery times of a year and a half are currently not uncommon for some versions. “For a car that has been selling virtually by itself for more than 40 years,” said a Mercedes-Benz partner in an interview with Business Insider, “the manufacturer would probably like to keep more in its own pocket in these difficult Corona and transformation times.”

Secondly, the off-road box wagons, which weigh tons, are comparatively thirsty and emit enormous amounts of carbon dioxide. For example, Mercedes-Benz quotes a combined fuel consumption of 14.4 liters per hundred kilometers driven for the 585-hp G 63 AMG. The combined CO2 emissions are therefore 330 grams per kilometer. The efficiency class is the worst of the eight eco traffic light categories, is marked signal red in product information – and appropriately bears the abbreviation “G.”

“In view of the increased penalties for such CO2 guzzlers on the part of the EU, Mercedes-Benz is probably keen to refinance at least part of this via the upcoming reduction in the rebate,” says a G-Class salesman.

The base price of the Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG is 160,680 euros. But the bulk of customers want a wide range of costly optional extras, and the current price list on the Internet is no less than 89 pages long. “That quickly adds up to well over 200,000 euros,” says the G expert, “and two percentage points more or less consequently have a noticeable impact.”

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