Mercedes-Benz is putting around 25 dealerships and service sites up for sale in Europe, specifically in Belgium, Britain, and Spain. Getting rid of the locations could net the automaker as much as €1 billon ($1.2 billion), according to Automotive News Europe citing a report from Germany's Handelsblatt.
Mercedes intends to sell these sites to independent dealer groups or investors and thinks each one could go for €30 million to €40 million. The automaker wants guarantees to ensure the job security of the people working at these locations. These showrooms and service centers employ about 2,800 people.
"In potential talks with interested buyers, high priority is placed on their long-term economic success and the continuation of the Mercedes-Benz's operations," a spokesperson for the automaker told Automotive News Europe.
In addition to making some quick money for the automaker, selling these locations lowers the company's fixed costs. The automaker no longer has to handle the upkeep of the locations and takes the workers off of its books.
Mercedes can use the money to fund its big investment into electric vehicles, which is still in the fairly early stages. The EQS luxury sedan goes on sale later this year in the US, and there's a whole lot more on the way.
Mercedes has EVs like a crossover variant of the EQS, smaller EQB, and the mid-sized EQE sedan on the way. Even more electric vehicles are coming further in the future, and developing them requires a whole lot of money.
Later this year, Mercedes will also unveil the latest generation of the venerable SL nameplate later in 2021. It'll use a new chassis with a mix of aluminum, steel, magnesium, and fiber composites that will have a significant improvement in rigidity. The car will also have a lower center of gravity than the current model.