Cycle & Carriage is getting into the used cars business with Mercedes-Benz Certified
SINGAPORE — How to find a used Mercedes that isn’t an abused Mercedes? Let the experts do it for you.
That’s one idea behind Mercedes-Benz Certified, an approved used car programme that the brand’s sole authorised dealer Cycle & Carriage (C&C) launched in Singapore last week.
The company has begun selling used cars not quite side-by-side with brand new vehicles, but in the same building where the main Mercedes showroom stands on Alexandra Road.
The business model is new to Mercedes but familiar to similar setups: choose sound pre-owned cars, check them carefully and spruce them up for sale.
The company says the Mercedes-Benz Certified cars are backed by nine promises, among them a two-year warranty, 24-hour roadside assistance, servicing credits at C&C and the ability to test drive a given car before buying.
Selling peaches means avoiding lemons, so Mercedes-Benz Certified says it will cherry-pick from cars that new car buyers trade-in, as well as from the company’s own fleet of demonstrator and management vehicles.
Any car with structural damage is sifted out, as are cars with modifications. The company says it will only sell vehicles that are accident-free and whose mileage it can guarantee to be genuine.
“As a longstanding authorised dealer of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, we have an intimate understanding of the demands among today’s car buyers,” Mr Collin Teo, Chief Operating Officer, Cycle & Carriage Industries, said in a statement.
Philipp Hagenburger, President and CEO, Mercedes-Benz Singapore, called the launch of the new business a “timely response” to latent demand for luxury cars here. The used car programme would offer car buyers here “more ways to own the silver star,” he said.
The company is starting small – it says it has “more than 10” used cars to sell at the moment – but the market is a crowded one, even within the premium pre-owned world where the line between a new and used car is blurry. Mercedes-Benz Certified joins the likes of Audi Approved Plus, BMW’s PPSL and Volkswagen’s Das Welt Auto in the hunt for buyers who want something new to them, but not necessarily brand new.
Those outfits harvest their stock from trade-ins or fleet vehicles whose mileage they can verify, as well, and choose the best units to freshen up and put on sale.
Mercedes-Benz would only say it prices its cars “competitively” but it’s not unusual for buyers to pay a premium for a premium selection. Management at Das Welt Auto, for example, went on record at the business’ launch to say that its cars cost “S$5,000 to S$6,000” more than comparable Volkswagens in the used car market.
A premium seems a reasonable if the goal is to find a second-hand vehicle without the risk of choosing a second-rate one.
If you’re still hell-bent on a new Mercedes, the most affordable four-door model is the new A-Class Saloon