Today is the End of the Month at the dealership! Does that sound crazy? On the calendar it is September 3rd, but in practice it is August 34th. This comes up a couple of times a year and I thought it might be worth explaining it to those of you not in the car business. I'm sure every industry has some quirks that need explaining!
Not every dealership or manufacturer has the same rules, but for Mercedes-Benz and my dealership the month cannot end on a Saturday. It also cannot end on a holiday. So, the 31st fell on Saturday, and then Monday was a holiday, so the first time we could end the month is today, Tuesday the 3rd. The main reason is that we work with banks to secure financing and we need to be able to finalize deals when the banks are open.
Generally our sales programs, incentives and residual values change from month to month. The changes could be small or large and we do not know in advance what is coming for the following month. Deals we do today are based on the August programs. Tomorrow, September 4th, will be the first day we are using the new programs for September.
You do not have to wait for the end of the month to get a deal on a car! The end of the month can be an exciting time to buy a car because it is busier in the showroom but we do not have more incentives or enticements than we had earlier in the month. We have sales objectives to achieve every day! In fact, you might be better off earlier in the month when it isn't so busy and there is less pressure to make a decision. The best deal is always a car you love!
Now you know - The End of the Month is not always the last day of the month!
Happy New Year! I know it is not even September but with all of the new 2020 models arriving from Mercedes-Benz it seems like the future! We have already received the resigned GLE-Class, the refreshed GLC-Class and the 2020 E350.
We have quite a few models coming in the new year that you might not be familiar with just yet. In fact, there might be a few I am not totally familiar with just yet! The Future Models section at www.mbusa.com is a good place to start.
Our SUV line-up has grown substantially over the years. The G-Class has been around since the 70's but the first modern luxury SUV was the ML (now GLE) for 1997. Since then we have added a larger SUV, the GLS-Class, and two smaller models, the GLA-Class and GLC-Class. Well, it turns out there was still a little room and the GLB-Class is coming for 2020! I haven't seen it in person yet but it seems to have the interior technology from the new A-Class and a exterior with a few more corners than all of the other SUVs. That is good news for the square SUV fans!
This will be the first vehicle in the EQ sub-brand from Mercedes-Benz. It looks to be approximately GLC-sized but with a full electric drive system and impressive new technology. It is very powerful, charges quickly and will be a great option for customers looking for full electric capability.
The all-new GLS-Class should arrive late 2019. It is a little larger, a lot more luxurious and now available with Captain's Chairs! People have been asking for captains chairs since the beginning of time! We have already started our order list for the GLS450, GLS580 and the yet-to-be-announced AMG variant. Don't wait! The vehicle is currently being built and there might be a stampede when it is released to the dealership!
The Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class was introduced in 2016 as a replacement for the outgoing GLK-Class. It has been an incredibly popular SUV for us! It is not too big, not too small and feels very luxurious. The styling has been less polarizing than the more square GLK. Compared to other vehicles at this price point it seems more spacious, more elegant and much smoother. The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 has arrived with a mid-cycle refresh. These are just a few changes to the current body style to keep it fresh and modern. It should stay just about the same until it is due for a complete redesign in 2022 or so.
I found a 2019 to park next to it to visually demonstrate the differences. It's easy to read the list of changed but it doesn't really come together for me until I can see them together. I think a few people will notice the updated exterior elements but the deciding factor will be the technology on the inside. Take a look at the head lamps and grille shape to see the exterior changes. On the inside we have updated to the new MBUX system with Hey Mercedes voice control and the touch screen.
Smartphone Integration (Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto) becomes standard
New M264 2.0L Inline-4 Turbocharged Engine with power output increase +14hp to 255 hp
LED Headlamps & Taillamps become standard
Updated steering wheel w/ haptic feedback touchpads and cruise control buttons
Next-Generation Infotainment System “MBUX” now standard incl. “Hey Mercedes”
New key design
SD-Card Pre-Wiring removed from standard equipment
10.25” Center Touchscreen now available and is standard
Blind Spot Assist (234) now standard
In other SUV news, the Mercedes-Benz GLB is due late this year. This will be bigger than the GLA, smaller than the GLC and have a third row option. From the images I have seen it is also a little more square than any of our other offerings. If you really loved the old GLK, the GLB might be the SUV for you!
The 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT has arrived and there are a few differences between the years. I made a quick video and took some still photos so you will be able to spot them easily. I'm ready to impress someone with how quickly I can tell them apart. I hope you get the same opportunity!
The 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT is on the left and the 2020 is on the right. Both of these vehicles are Selenite Grey with the Pepper Red leather. From the exterior you can spot the headlights, taillights and exhaust. The headlights have a different shape to the LED element. The 2020 has more of a C shaped highlight. The taillights are a slightly different shade. The 2020 AMG GT has the double round exhaust tips as compared to the trapezoidal tips on the 2019. (The GTC gets a double trapezoid and the GTR has a large center exhaust.) The AMG Performance Exhaust is now standard on all models. It has previously been optional on the GT.
On the inside you'll notice the screens, buttons and keyless start button are all different. The analog instrument cluster has been replaced with a 12.3" digital screen. The center screen is now 10.25". The biggest different to me is that the 2019 has the round dials on the center V8 cluster and the 2020 has the new haptic touch screens. The steering wheel in the 2020 now has the Drive Unit pods, touchpads and more silver trim.
2019 GT Roadster
2020 AMG GT Roadster
There you go! The 2020 GT was updated just slightly to have the latest and greatest technology. You can now identify it from the front, back and interior! Also for 2020 the GT S was eliminated. The GT R roadster and the GT Pro were added. Got it?
It was a busy spring on my European Delivery calendar! I had three clients picking up within a month of each other and every one of them made it a different experience. Two of the cars made it back to the dealership this week so it seemed like a good time to share.
1 - E450 Cabriolet - Roadtrip
The gorgeous Rubellite Red E450 with Red top and Titian Red dashboard was the first car to make it back to the dealership. These folks planned a trip similar to my first European Delivery experience. It was go-go-go from the moment they landed. They picked up the car in the delivery center in Sindelfingen and then hit the road. They did 1500 miles in about 10 days and visited several countries!
They reported that it was much easier to drive in Germany and Italy then they had expected and had no issues with parking. Even with a cabriolet they were able to take all of their gear and ride in comfort.
2 - CLS53 - Stopover
This lovely couple already had a grand European adventure planned including a few days in Rome and a river boat cruise. They were able to squeeze in the pick-up of their CLS53 at the Center of Excellence in Sindelfingen at the start of their trip. They enjoyed the excellent hospitality, tour of the factory and dramatic unveiling of their new car. They just drove it a few miles that day and dropped it off but it was still a memorable experience!
3 - E63 AMG - Extended Adventure
Can you imagine a better vehicle for an extended tour of Europe than the E63 wagon? This client had a lot of friends and family to visit over the course of a month and tied that together with the delivery of his new Lunar Blue E63! He was able to travel at his own pace, take all his gear and enjoy some autobahn time in the new car! This car will arrive in Atlanta in a few weeks and he plans to fly in to take another long road trip home to Colorado!
There is no right or wrong way to experience the European Delivery Program! I can tell you how I have done it, how others have done it and help you customize the experience for yourself. Many of my clients are also open to sharing their experience directly with you if you need to talk it over! Please do let me know if I can help you plan your adventure! E-mail me, call me, let's make some memories!
Emotional and dynamic exterior SUV design with power domes on hood
New Carwash function enables the car to be prepped for entry into a carwash with the press of a single button
Large roof spoiler, wide shoulders and two-part taillamps
Black wheel arch claddings
New 19" - 22" wheels (GLS 450); new 23" wheels (GLS 580)
Illuminated running boards with robust stainless steel inserts
Distinguished, chromed underride guard in SUV-specific design
New exterior paint colors
New, progressive design in interior with new-generation steering wheel with Touch Control Buttons, two grab handles on center console, widescreen dual display with 12.3" Digital Instrument Cluster and 12.3" multimedia display with touchscreen and new generation Touchpad in center console, trim elements in open pore woods and new 64-Color Ambient Lighting
SUV-specific storage compartments designed especially for off-road driving
Executive Rear Seat Package and Executive Rear Seat Package PLUS
7-seater or 6-seater with Captain’s Chairs
12.3” Digital Instrument Cluster and 12.3” Touchscreen Multimedia Display
Burmester Surround Sound System
LED Intelligent light system headlamps and LED taillamps
9 USB-C ports
19” wheels (GLS 450), 21" wheels (GLS 580)
This is just a few highlights from the press release about the car. There are a lot more details and pictures to come. The all-new GLE should give you a very good idea of the styling and the technology. I am guessing the GLS580 will become even more rare than the GLS550 has been. I cannot wait to have captain's chairs available for my customers!
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class is a complete redesign and is due to arrive in the showroom this week! This has been a highly anticipated redesign for us. I was lucky to get to go to a pre-release training in Jacksonville last week and this video is from that training. I spent the day with our trainers learning the new MBUX technology as well as an hour driving the GLE450 on the road. It is quieter, more luxurious and very advanced technologically!
My first impressions are that it is an evolution, not a revolution on the outside. The headlights and taillights are modern, mirroring the new A-Class and CLS-Class. The vehicle is 4.5" longer, including 3" on the wheelbase. This give the second row passengers quite a bit of leg room. The interior is where the major upgrades have occurred. The new dashboard layout is beautiful and gives it an entirely fresh appearance. The MBUX system (which is Mercedes speak for the nav/radio/Bluetooth/voice systems) in intuitive and very cool!
There are two models for the 2020 Model Year. The GLE350 4matic with a 4-cylinder engine and a GLE450 4matic with the inline-6 will both be available at launch. A 2WD GLE350 will be available later. There will be no AMG variants for the 2020 model year but I am sure they will turn up for 2021. No word on 43/53/63 availability.
Pricing will be similar to GLEs from previous model years. We have been playing around with different combinations and I am getting GLE350s in the $59-$62,000 range and GLE450s in the $68-$75,000 range. Of course there are outliers! Wait until you see my $95,000 GLE450 with every option!
This GLE is also a very good preview for the redesigned GLS-Class that we expect to see before the end of 2019. Having a third row option in the GLE will be nice but it will not replace the utility of the full size GLS and the additional space that allows.
The video is just a quick sneak peak with more coming soon!
The all-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class is due to arrive very soon! You can see lots of details at MBUSA.com. We do not yet have a firm launch date but it has bee suggested as "1st Quarter" and "Early 2019."
I am thinking the A-Class will be an excellent vehicle for folks who don't love the increased size of the C-Class but want something a little more traditional than the CLA. The new technology has been a major focus of the pre-launch campaign but is not the only strength of the A-Class. They styling is very much like the new CLS-Class, there are lots of great wheel options and it should be very efficient. I think there is something for everyone to love!
Here is the pricing announcement from MBUSA:
Today, we are pleased to announce the MSRP for the All-New 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan.
The A-Class Sedan introduces the game-changing new infotainment system called MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience). Featuring a completely new user interface, natural speech recognition, touchscreen capabilities and a new Touchpad, MBUX represents a powerful user experience that also incorporates artificial intelligence to learn your habits over time and automatically adapt to changes in patterns of behavior.
The A 220 will start at an MSRP of $32,500, while the A220 4MATIC will start at $34,500.
The A 220 and A 220 4MATIC both feature a 2.0L inline-4 turbocharged engine that produces 188 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. This powerful and fuel efficient power plant is mated to a 7G-DCT dual-clutch transmission. The extensive standard equipment for the A 220 and A 220 4MATIC includes a Panorama roof and the intuitively-operated MBUX multimedia system with intelligent Voice Control. The in-car experience welcomes a new era of connectivity with standard Smartphone Integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a high-resolution widescreen cockpit concept with a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster and 7.0-inch touchscreen multimedia display. The exterior design is further refined with standard 17” wheels and LED headlamps and taillamps.
This summer I will be taking the wagon on a roadtrip with Rally North America through New England! This is a scavenger hunt style rally with checkpoints and track visits along the way. A requirement of participation is raising money for charity. This year the charity is Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life threatening illnesses and their families. It will be a great trip for a worthy cause.
If you would like to know more about the Rally Series you can visit Rally North America here. We participated in a similar rally two years ago along the Blue Ridge Parkway and had an excellent time! There are still a few opening if you want to sign up! I think the wagon is going to look fantastic with racing stripes and numbers. I went with the classic #722 for this event. If you remember, the C43 AMG went for a classic Bumblebee look with #43.
Would you like to help me reach our fundraising goal? You can visit our donations page here! Every penny goes to Camp Sunshine and if we meet the $125,000 event goal that will send 50 kids to camp! I will also accept vehicle sponsorships that come with decals and advertising! You know everyone is going to take pictures of a well-wrapped E63 station wagon traveling through the Northeast! Get some prime real estate for your logo!
Also, we do intend to extend our rally past the finishing point in Maine. I have my eye on Nova Scotia! Any recommendations for things to see in that area? I look forward to loading the wagon onto a ferry or two! The rally is in July so I am hoping that Canadian summer is not too cold. While I gre up in western New York I am now a southerner and fear the snow!
As always, follow along on Instagram and Facebook for updates. I'm BenzBlogger on both!
I just happened to have these two cars on the lot at the same time and felt like they deserved to be seen together. I often can't tell the size or scale of a vehicle when it is featured by itself. Also, having two 4-Door coupes in our line-up is bound to confuse the issue so let's put them together and see how different they really are!
The 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT63S is the Performance Car. This is a 630 horsepower monster with a 3/1 second 0-60 estimate. It is also quite a looker! This particular car features the carbon ceramic brakes, race seats and 21" cross-spoke wheels. The vehicle will be available in the GT53, GT63 and GT63S variants. It will be a direct competitor to the Porsche Panamera and I think it will be bringing a lot of traffic to the showroom!
The 2019 CLS-Class is an evolution of the 4-Door coupe we pioneered with the original CLS in 2006. The CLS460 is an Inline 6 cylinder with EQ boost and there will also be a CLS53 AMG. This car is more of the comfort car of the two. It is a little cushier, the cockpit is a little more open and it is tuned to be a little smoother.
I think they look very different in person. The GT63 looks beefy. The fastback design is very attractive and the hood is both wide and tall. The CLS is actually a touch more conservative which is not a normal thing to say about the CLS! I compared it to an E-Class in a previous video and it looked quite aggressive. Parked side-by-side they look like family, but definitely different.
Both cars are expected to arrive in the US "4th Quarter." That is a vague amount of time that indicates they hope to get them out before the end of the year. I hope it is soon!