Tag Archives: Mercedes Benz Lease Deals

Mercedes Benz Reports Highest October Sales on Record with Sales of 24,449, Sales Up 28.2% Over October 2010!

mercedes sales figures

The Mercedes-Benz sales numbers report for October 2011 looks awfully good, sales were up 28.2% for the month and up 12% for the year 2011.This sales surge was felt all the way down the food chain, as, on a personal note, October 2011 was my personal best month in my almost 4 year career in the car business! I should thank all of my customers for that… it was a great October 2011.

The 24 hour news channels talk nothing but doom and gloom for the economy and consumer confidence, but I’m seeing all sorts of small business owners, executives and professionals from all types of industries coming in to take advantage of all the current new Mercedes-Benz deals out there. These people are smart, they’re not just writing checks for big cars because they can, they’re taking advantage of current incentives and programs, historically low finance rates, they’re negotiating good deals because they see VALUE in the current new car market. They are also taking advantage of a historically high trade in prices for their old vehicles due to a strong used car market.

Maybe if FOX News and CNN would report some good news for a change people might feel better about what’s happening in the world. Okay… enough of that… below is the official MBUSA press release (edited a bit for length) and the breakdown of sales by model for October 2011.

mercedes sales numbers

For Release: Nov. 1, 2011


Sales Up 28.2% for the Month and 12% for the Year

MONTVALE, N.J. – Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) today reported October sales of 24,449 vehicles, a 28.2% improvement over October 2010 (19,076) and the company’s highest October volume on record. On a year-to-date basis, the 206,632 vehicles sold represent a 12% increase over the 184,431 vehicles sold during the same period last year.

The highest volume performers for the month were the C-Class and E-Class model lines. The all-new 2012 sporty C-Class – gateway to the Mercedes-Benz brand for younger and first-time Mercedes-Benz buyers – led the pack with sales of 7,084, up 87.9% from October 2010. The 9th generation E-Class followed with sales of 4,516 and the all-new versatile M-Class, finished third in volume with monthly sales of 4,091. Additionally, sales of the 2012 CLS-Class posted a 192.3% increase for the month and sales of the new SLK roadster were up 58.2% over October 2010.

Total diesel units sold for October were up 110.9% with sales of 1,930 (vs. 915 units sold in Oct. 2010).

At the high end, the company sold 13 of its supercar — the SLS AMG — bringing its year-to date sales to 467.

Sales of Sprinter Vans also increased by 104.8% for October with sales of 1,485 – bringing a year-to-date total of 13,937 (up 119.4 %).

Sales of the smart fortwo totaled 327 vehicles for the month (compared to the 367 vehicles sold in October 2010).

Separately, through the Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned (MBCPO) program, MBUSA sold 5,571 vehicles in October 2011, a decrease of 21.8%. On a year-to-date basis, MBCPO sold 62,929 vehicles, a decrease of 7.6% over the comparable period last year.

New Mercedes Benz Special Finance Rates for June 2011: GL450 and 550 Models Added! 1.9% – 3.9%

New Mercedes-Benz Financial special APR finance rates were released today for June 2011. They remain largely the same as last month, with the addition of special financing on GL450 and 550 models. That’s a fairly rare finance special, I don’t see much on the GL450 very often, and I can’t remember the last time there were any finance specials on the high end GL550 SUV. Rates are 2.9% up to 36 months or 3.9% up to 66 months on new 2011 model GLs.

Class Model Yr 24-36 Months 37-66 Months
C (300 + 350) 2011 1.99% 2.99%
E (350) 2011 2.99% 3.99%
M (350) 2011 1.99% 2.99%
GLK 2011 1.99% 2.99%
GL (450 + 550) 2011 2.99% 3.99%

C, M and GLK class vehicles continue at 1.9% for a short 36 month finance term and a 2.9% rate for up to 66 months. The E class uses the same rates as last month, and the same rates as the GL class, 2.9% up to 36 months or 3.9% up to 66 months.

It’s shaping up to be a good Summer for new Mercedes-Benz vehicles, these rates make it easier to get into the vehicle you’ve got your eye on.

Should I Lease My Next New Car or Buy?

A good question, and one that everyone should ask themselves before they decide to get strapped into a new car loan. Leasing is right for some people, it’s not right for others. Check your preconceived notions about auto leasing at the door and read on, we’ll analyze your past vehicle ownership history, how you use your vehicle, factor in your financial goals and figure out whether you should lease or buy your next vehicle.

To keep things very simple, here are some things to think about…

You should lease if:
You plan to keep your vehicle for less than 5 years
You like your vehicle to always be covered by manufacturer’s warranty
You hate trading in your car and not getting what you owe for it

You should buy if:
You keep your vehicles and drive them until the wheels fall off
You keep up with vehicle maintenance and don’t mind paying for it

Some people believe that they aren’t good lease candidates because they ‘drive too many miles’. 12,000 miles is about average mileage. Some people drive 10,000 others 15,000. Each manufacturer is different, but you can always ‘buy more miles’ in the beginning if you think you’ll need them. Don’t get hung up thinking you’ll have to park the car if you get close to your mileage limit. If you’re not sure how many miles you’ll need error on the side of more than less. You wouldn’t want to buy a car and trade it in with high miles because you were afraid to go over the mile limit on a lease, your trade value would be worse than it would have been anyway.

How long do you normally keep your cars?
This is probably the single most important question when considering whether to lease or buy a vehicle. Quite simply, if you plan to change cars within 4, even 5 years of the purchase and get a new one, you should probably be leasing.

Imagine, you decide to buy a new car and you finance it over 60 months, 5 years. Three years into that purchase you decide you want to get a new car, maybe you want to get out of your sedan and into a crossover, or you need something with all wheel drive, whatever. You go to the dealer to trade in your current vehicle.  You’ve made three years of payments, you’ve got two years of payments left, you still owe money on the car. This is where it gets tough for you financially.

 In 99 out of 100 cases the trade in value of your car will be less than what you owe, your payoff. So you can either wrap that negative equity into the new vehicle, essentially adding that amount to the new car’s price and continuing to pay for it or you can write a check and pay the car off. Either way, you’re upside down in your trade in and you’ve got to come up with the difference to move forward. Cars, and especially SUVs depreciate so quickly that unless you put a huge down payment on your car when you bought it, lowering the loan amount, chances are you’ll be upside down.

All you have to do is look at a used car lot. Look at high end used cars. Many people believe that higher end cars like Mercedes-Benz hold their value well or have a high resale value.  They’re not much different than any other kind of car really. A two year old used Mercedes-Benz sedan with less than 40,000 miles is roughly half the price of a brand new one. So if you trade in after a couple of years imagine what your trade in value will be.

If you lease, sure, you always have a payment, but if you’re the kind of person who likes a new car every few years you’re going to have a payment all the time anyway. If you’re a cash buyer, be prepared to eat all the depreciation of the vehicle you’re trading in. Sure, you own it, but if you buy a $40,000 car with cash and trade it in after two years for $25,000 (yes, even if it’s in ‘excellent’ condition)  you paid $635 a month in depreciation to own that car, not a great investment.

This is why you should lease, unless you buy them and keep them forever, driving them for years after you’re done with the payments… to really get your money out of it.

How do you feel about maintenance?
When you lease a car under normal circumstances chances are the car will be under the manufacturer’s warranty for the entire lease period. All you will have to pay for will be routine maintenance, oil changes, and the like. Some manufacturers include ‘free’ maintenance packages with leases. Of course we all know there is no such thing as free, you’re paying for it somewhere, just keep that in mind when cross shopping different brands, so you know you’re comparing apples to apples. Mercedes-Benz offers pre paid maintenance packages, they’re just up front with you and they tell you what you’re actually paying and what you’re actually saving by buying such a package.

When you buy a car that you plan to keep you should buy the extended warranty, sure, negotiate the price, work to get a deal, but get the extended warranty if you know you’re going to keep the car. Keep up with maintenance while the car is under warranty, when it’s about to go out of warranty take it in and have them comb over it and fix everything that can be fixed under warranty. Once warranty expires be sure to keep up a good routine maintenance regime to keep your now ‘out of warranty’ car in good running condition for years to come. You won’t have a car payment per se, but create a budget for annual maintenance, and break it down monthly, pretend that’s your ‘car payment’.

Vehicles are depreciating assets. When you lease you’re essentially paying the depreciation of that vehicle. Yes, you will always have a car payment, but you will never have negative equity in your vehicle. You will never have to trade your car in for less than you think its worth, you’re never at the mercy of the used car market which ultimately dictates the value of your trade in. With a lease, you hand the keys over when you’re done and get something else, you start from scratch each time, not a bad deal.

New 2011 Mercedes Benz R Class Redesign Reviewed

Now they’re here, the newly redesigned 2011 R350 4matic crossover and I’ve had a few days to absorb the new design, my thoughts are below along with a ver short history of the R class.  This one just arrived into our regular inventory, and I’m glad we’ve got it. The new, redesigned R class has been creating a bit of a buzz and I’ve had to keep telling people that we don’t have them yet when they call in looking for them. The R class has been changed, and for the better I think, nicely updated.

The real difference is visible from the A pillar forward. The front fenders have been changed, the hood is slightly different, but it’s the grille that really sets is apart from the previous generation. The rear tailights have been changed to LED lamps, but that’s really about it. The grille has been made more upright, like you see on the SUV line up, a design cue that has trickled all the way down from the SLS AMG, it’s also visible in the new CL and CLS and it will make its way through to all the Mercedes-Benz models soon.

Front end detail: grille and lights.

The R class has had an interesting run over the past several years. It was introduced with much fanfare in 2006 and it sold briskly when introduced. Leases were cheap, it was a new model, it was marketed well to a public looking for something different. Into 2007 and 2008 I think it began to become difficlut to categorize. Mercedes-Benz wanted it to be an SUV, it was included in the 2008 SUV brochure along with the new GL, the ML and the G wagen, but it wasn’t really an SUV in most people’s minds.

Some people called it an SUV, some people called it a wagon, nobody was quite sure what to call it, but the people who had them, loved them. They can carry 6 – 7 adults comfortably and safely with style. The R class is great for the person who wouldn’t be caught dead in a mini van, needs space for passengers, but doesn’t want a big SUV. Speaking of dead… I even know a funeral home that bought two of them, to shuttle greiving family members from the church to the cemetary, not for carrying the casket!

If you need a safe, comfortable people mover with lots of cargo space and different seating configurations, the R class is an excellent choice. Mercedes-Benz did discontinue the diesel version as well as the V8 version for the 2011 model year, so you can get it with the trusty 350 V6 only, which was, by far, the most popular model over the years anyway.

This particluar example that we have in stock here at Feldmann Imports is nicely equipped with the Premium 1 Package (P1 Package), Panorama sunroof, etc. etc. see the original window sticker below all of the options listed. It’s Feldmann Imports’ stock #M9809.

New Pearl Beige Color on 2011 Mercedes Benz E350 4matic!

Several new colors were introduced by Mercedes-Benz for the 2010 model year and the introduction of the new generation E class. One of the new colors was Pearl Beige, a sort of metallic light gold color that looks especially nice on the new body E class as well as on the C class. This is only the second E class I’ve seen in this color, and this is the first 2011 model E class I’ve seen in this color.

This particular example is very well equipped as you can see from the original window sticker / option list I’ve included below. It’s got the Premium 1 Package (P1), Sport Package, which now includes the LED daytime running lamps for 2011, and the Panorama Sunroof along with a number of other options.

click option list to enlarge, so it's easier to read.

It’s available today with an MSRP of $61,965, Feldmann Imports Stock# M9792.

Mercedes Benz Sign and Drive Leases: The Whole Story

Leasing isn’t rocket science, but it continues to be one of the subjects that readers of the Dave Knows Cars Blog are most interested in and have the most questions about. It’s also one of the most common Google searches that lead people to Daveknowscars.com in the first place, so I’m writing a quick analysis of the Mercedes-Benz “Sign and Drive” lease advertised by Mercedes-Benz nationally for the month of September 2010. I’ve also included links to the two most detailed articles I wrote earlier this year about leasing below.

I paste links to these articles into emails for customers and people interested in learning more about leasing all the time. If you haven’t read them have a look, you may find them helpful in clearing up some common questions about leasing and figuring out if it is right for you or not.

The first day or so of each month Mercedes-Benz releases programs for that month to their dealer network. We all clamour around to get our copies of the interest rates, lease deals, customer cash amounts, whatever they may be featuring that particluar month. Programs do change monthly, so the sale person who says to you at the end of the month “I don’t know if this interest rate will be available tomorrow” is being straight with you, and they never release the new programs until the previous month is really finished.

It’s the beginning of a new model year for most of our models. The 2010s are essentially gone, all we have are 2011 models inmost cases, which is actually good if you’re interested in leasing. The 2011 that you lease today will be worth more at the end of its lease period than the same car you will lease in say, 6 months… which means you pay less depreciation over the life of your lease.

The advertised “SIGN AND DRIVE” lease on the new 2011 Mercedes-Benz C300 4matic Sport for September 2010 breaks down like this:

MSRP of $40,360 (Premium 1 Package car, Automatic Transmission, 4matic All Wheel Drive, in Mars Red, Black or Arctic White)
27 month lease
10,000 miles per year
$0 due at signing, NOT EVEN FIRST PAYMENT*
$455 / month 

*So, what’s with the asterisk? You must pay tax, title, license to the state at the time of signing. Sorry, that’ just how it goes… but it’s probably  probably less than a total of $1500 in MN. Or I suppose you might be able to wrap that into your payments and put truly NOTHING down, but you might need extremely good credit to do that, and even then, the bank may not even let you. You should be prepared to pay that up front, and that’s smarter anyway.

This is a great time to lease because residual values are high… meaning, the car will be worth a lot at the end of your lease, and all a lease really is is you paying the depreciation of the car during the period you have it. It’s a relatively short lease period, interest rates are low, it’s a new model year car.

If you want to get into a new C300 with more equipment, say you want the multi media package, you’re going to add about $2,700 to the MSRP which will increase your payment by about $25 – $30 per $1000 the MSRP goes up. So, it will cost you about an extra $80 per month to have navigation, the 6GB music register, voice control, etc. If you don’t need the Multimedia Package but would like the big Panorama Sunroof the MSRP increases about $1000, sending your payment up to about$490.

If you need 12,000 miles instead of the 10,000 avertised the payment will go up a bit too, how much will depend upon the MSRP of the car you’re looking at, but it’s not crazy, usually between $30 and $50 per month.

As I’ve said in previous columns… it’s very unusual for someone to walk in and say… “I’ll take that lease I saw on TV.” Customers inevitably add some equipment, needs more miles, maybe they want less miles, want a car with metallic paint which adds $750 to the MSRP or are comfortable putting $2500 or $3500 down in order to keep thier monthly payment at a lower level.

That brings up a good point, and an often hotly contested one. People often go on the offensive when I ask them how much money they’re comfortable putting down, “Hey, don’t back me into a corner” (I don’t back people into corners, I give them options, escape routes even!).

Let me put it this way, it costs X to lease a car. You can put $20,000 and have a $100 a month payment, or you can put nothing down and have a $800 a month payment. Money down just pays what you would pay monthly, up front. These sign and drive leases are so great because they require minimal cash out of pocket, and that seems to be what most people are into these days, and the monthly payments are very reasonable considering what you get to drive for the next 2+ years.

When you see lease deals advertised, no matter the manufacturer, they’re usually really low, in fact, Mercedes-Benz often advertises a lease that’s something like $379 a month with $3000 down. While it looks good on TV, I often find it counterproductive on the showroom floor. The fine print on leases like that says…. on a base car, PLUS tax, title, license, fees, and first month’s payment, etc. etc. So when someone comes in all excited that they’re going to get a Mercedes-Benz with navigation and a panorama sunroof and illuminated door sills for $379 a month I have to say “Perfect sir, I’ll get you that $379 a month lease, but I’m really gonna need more like $10,000 down from you today to get you to that payment.” Then the mood changes and I’m the bad guy.

That’s why I like the current sign and drive deal from Mercedes. It’s a decent P1 car, perfectly respectable… add an iPod kit and pano roof and you’re only going up about 50 bucks a month. Minimal money down and you’ve got a nice ride, probably only two oil changes during the whole lease period of 27 months. It’s a fine way to go.

Remember… the keys to leasing…

1) As MSRP goes up monthly payment goes up (about $25 – $30 per $1000)
2) As $ down goes up, payment goes down ((about $25 – $30 per $1000)
3) As miles go up, monthly payment goes up (amounts depend on the specific car)
4) Most advertised leases are on fairly basic cars, but good ones on solid cars exist (like this months $455 / month sign and drive / P1 C class)
5) Tax, title and license are generally NOT included in advertised leases or even in the money down amounts advertised.

That’s how I would sum it all up… I didn’t know anything about leasing cars a couple of years ago, it didn’t make sense to me. If you plan to change cars, or even think there’s a chance you will change cars within 3-5 years of buying it… leasing is you best bet! Or get ready to take a bath on your trade in.

Additional leasing articles I’ve written from months past:

My Leasing article from April 12, 2010
“Mercedes-Benz: Why Lease?”

Another leasing article from May 5, 2010
But What’s the Catch? Mercedes-Benz Sign and Drive Lease

Mercedes Benz Sales Figures By Class: July 2010

July 2010 was a good sales month for Mercedes-Benz, increasing overall units sold from July 2009 during July of 2010. It was also a good month for Feldmann Imports in terms of new  Mercedes-Benz sold we also have a strong showing from the Certified Pre Owned camp.

Below if a table showing sales by class during the months of July 2009 and 2010 and percent changes. C class sales are up about 15%, but it’s new E class sales that really stand out to me. While E class sales were down in July over last July, total E class sales for the year are up more than 80% over 2009, we can attribute most of that I think to the new body style, aggressive deals, and a loyal following, some people just won’t drive anything else.

Sales of core vehicles like the C, E, GL and ML and GLK class SUVs remain strong, but some of the more specialty models have suffered in terms of total sales numbers. 47 new SLS AMG cars were delivered in July, one of them here at Feldmann Imports, see the article I wrote about our first SLS delivery here.  And what about the G Wagen? A lot of people call in with questions about the Mercedes-Benz G wagen, most people don’t realize how rare those trucks really are. Notice here, that only one more G wagen was delivered in July than new SLS AMG… and the G wagen is half the price, but still $100k+ ! Built in its own factory in Austria, it’s one of the rarest Mercedes-Benz models today.

Passenger Vehicles 10-Jul 9-Jul Monthly % YTD 2010 YTD 2009 Yearly %
C-CLASS 5,309 4,450 19.30% 34,864 30,179 15.50%
E-CLASS 5,462 5,556 -1.70% 33,240 18,257 82.10%
S-CLASS 779 638 22.10% 7,184 5,674 26.60%
CL-CLASS 99 85 16.50% 552 807 -36.10%
SL-CLASS 194 319 -39.20% 1,407 2,493 -43.60%
SLS AMG 47  – 265
CLK-CLASS  5 364 -98.60% 585 5,567 -89.50%
SLK-CLASS 60 234 -74.40% 1,437 1,885 -23.80%
CLS-CLASS 93 164 -43.30% 1,158 1,807 -35.90%
R-CLASS 314 36 772.20% 1,723 2,028 -15.00%
M-CLASS 1,973 1,674 17.90% 14,366 12,278 17.00%
G-CLASS 48 55 -12.70% 497 352 41.20%
GL-CLASS 1,179 844 39.70% 10,596 7,197 47.20%
GLK-CLASS 1,805 1,809 -0.20% 13,167 12,792 2.90%
TOTAL 17,367 16,228 7.00% 121,041 101,316 19.50%
*SPRINTER 681  – 3,974  –
MBUSA Combined Total  10-Jul 9-Jul Monthly % YTD 2010 YTD 2009 Yearly %
GRAND TOTAL  18,048 16,228 11.20% 125,015 101,316 23.40%

*Source: Mercedes-Benz Online Press Room

Between Blog and Sales Person Mercedes C Class Lease Customer “Couldn’t ask for a better experience”

I met this very nice lady several months ago while I was working on the show floor one Saturday afternoon. She had a lot of questions about leasing a C class, the pros and cons, if it was right for her or not. She had never leased before. We had a very good conversation and as she was leaving I mentioned an article I had recently written about leasing for the dave knows cars blog. We didn’t even test drive a car, she just asked some questions.

This past weekend the same lady came into the dealership asking for me. After more reasearch and after reading my follow up article to the original lease posting on the blog, she had decided a lease was right for her. The C class was right for her too, we just needed to find her the right car to replace her Saturn wagon, quite a change!

My colleague and experienced Mercedes-Benz Salesperson, David Ruben, showed her the car, took her on a test drive and they eventually helped her pick out the right car with the right options. At that point, the lease deal was easy, she had done enough reading to know exactly what she needed and wanted. The rest is history.

Here is a copy of the customer survey every customer gets from MBUSA via email after buying any new or pre owned Mercedes-Benz from our dealership that she completed. All questions are based on a scale of 1 – 10.

Her sales person, David Ruben did a wonderful job showing her the car and explaining all of its features, and I was glad to see that the information on the blog was helpful to her as well.

But What’s the Catch? Sign and Drive Lease: Mercedes Benz C300 4matic Sport

There is no catch! The Sign and Drive Lease from Mercedes-Benz on the 2010 Mercede-Benz C300 Sport was so successful in April that it’s back in May. If you want my no holds barred opinon of leasing have a look at my “Why Lease?” article I posted a couple of weeks ago… no sugar coating here! Below are the details of the new program:

Mercedes-Benz Sign and Drive Lease: C300 4matic Sport
May 2010:

Based on a car with an MSRP (window sticker price) of $40,275
10,000 miles per year
36 month lease term
$459 per month!

So how does it really break down?
A $40,275 MSRP is going to be a Black, Arctic White, or Mars Red C300 4matic Sport model with the Premium 1 Package (Auto-Dimming Mirrors, Four-way power lumbar support – driver only, Garage door opener, Heated front seats, Memory seat w/ poer steering column – driver only, rain sensing windshield wipers, Integrated compass in rear view mirror, SIRIUS satellite radio – first 6 months are free).

You’re still responsible for tax, title, license and fees… however your first payment is taken care of by the dealer and there is no customer cash (cap cost reduction) required at signing.

Remember, if you need 12,000 or 15,000 miles per year you can get them, but the monthly payment changes. If you want a car with the Multi Media Package and thus a higher MSRP, the monthly payment will also change.

Bottom line is that lease rates are good, and there are a lot of cars currently in stock to choose from. C class sales are up significantly from 2009, as you can see from the Mercedes-Benz Sales Figures article I posted the other day, don’t wait any longer, now is the time, before interest rates begin to climb along with lease rates.