Mercedes Benz of Palm Beach

Mercedes-Benz of Palm Beach Gives Locals the ‘Best or Nothing’

“We’ve done a very good job of keeping not only our customers, but our employees very safe over the past year,” Althoff said.
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At a time when hundreds of car dealerships around the country have been forced to shut down or lay off employees, Mercedes-Benz of Palm Beach is kicking it into another gear. You might even say they’re in “growth mode.”

Luxury AutomobilesThanks to strategic vision, impeccable leadership, and willing to be flexible in the face of challenging circumstances, owner Michael Cantanucci and the team at Mercedes-Benz of Palm Beach have done more than just survive a difficult year – they’ve thrived.

And it’s safe to say this is just the beginning.

New Year, New Showroom

Renovating a showroom is tough work in any circumstances. Tearing down and rebuilding an entirely new showroom in the middle of the biggest pandemic in more than a century – that’s enough to make you lose some sleep.

Peter Althoff General Manager Mercedes Benz of Palm BeachBut for this team, no challenge is too big. With a laser-like commitment to providing luxury at every step of the sales and ownership process, Mercedes-Benz of Palm Beach buckled down and adapted.

In many ways, the process of building a new and improved showroom was reflective of what was happening in the world. They had to embrace the unexpected and make important decisions on the fly.

Halfway through the teardown process, Mercedes-Benz of Palm Beach was notified that Mercedes-Benz USA had come out with a brand-new showroom design.

“Another convenient offering is the “Express” maintenance. If you’re looking for just an oil change, tire rotation, or other simple vehicle maintenance, Althoff and his team will get you taken care of.”

And while they were given a choice between sticking with the blueprints they had already chosen, the team ultimately decided to switch gears and pivot to the new design.

Switching that late in the game required quick thinking and thorough planning. The entire foundation had to be changed, different footers were required, and an entirely new set of plans were presented to the contractors.

But after all of that hard work, Mercedes-Benz of Palm Beach is now one of the first in the country to have the new showroom design.

“It’s nice to now have the space in the building to properly service our customers and give them the ‘best or nothing’ experience that Mercedes-Benz is known for,” General Manager Peter Althoff said in an exclusive interview with Palm Beach Business & Lifestyle Magazine.

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The new showroom is large, spacious, and luxurious – a truly exceptional experience that extends into the 50-person lounge area that’s equipped with WiFi, tables with USB connectivity, refreshments, and comfortable seating.

And though the new 60,000-square-foot showroom facility wasn’t necessarily designed with COVID in mind, the spacious nature of the layout and amenities makes it highly-conducive to the current circumstances.

“We’ve done a very good job of keeping not only our customers, but our employees very safe over the past year,” Althoff said.

Adapting to the New Normal

While many other auto dealerships and businesses around the country use words like “safety” and “precautions” as marketable buzzwords to attract customers, Mercedes-Benz of Palm Beach has taken safety measures seriously from the very beginning. It’s not just a pitch for business – it’s indicative of the company’s DNA.

Michael Cantanucci and Team at Mercedes Benz of Palm Beach

“We’ve done a very good job of keeping not only our customers, but our employees very safe over the past year,” Althoff said.

Any time a vehicle comes in   for maintenance  it is immediately fitted with a steering wheel cover and seat covers by a valet wearing gloves and masks.

Prior to test drives, vehicles are given an approved sanitization treatment by the onsite detail company. And the same goes for loaner vehicles that customers use while their personal vehicles are being serviced.

While the showroom has remained open, Althoff says they’ve seen a predictable rise in the number of off-site test drives and vehicle deliveries. And though it certainly required some shuffling on his team’s part, they’ve turned off-site services like these into opportunities to add value to the customer. (This includes innovative website functionality that allows customers to purchase vehicles online.)

“We try to make it easy on the customer,” said Althoff. “A lot of times, especially with our clientele in the area, they didn’t want to come into the store during COVID. They didn’t feel comfortable going out, which is understandable. So we just tried to bring it to them to make it as easy as possible.”

Even today, as things start to normalize somewhat, a customer has the ability to schedule test drives via the website. They can also call to schedule a home or office test drive service and one of the product concierges or client advisors will bring the vehicle of their choice.

Another convenient offering is the “Express”maintenance. If you’re looking for just an oil change, tire rotation, or other simple vehicle maintenance, Althoff and his team will get you taken care of.

“We can get you in and out in 60-90 minutes, so that you don’t have to take a loaner car or get in another vehicle you aren’t comfortable with,” he said. “Most people will wait for the vehicle. Others will take advantage of our courtesy drop-off service where we drop the vehicle back off at your home or office.”

Mercedes-Benz Of Palm Beach: Open for Business

During a time of uncertainty, when many dealerships have struggled to remain afloat, the team at Mercedes-Benz of Palm Beach has been an example of the proper way to respond in the face of uncertainty. And as is the Mercedes-Benz mantra, they continue to offer “the best or nothing.”

“With our new facility we want to make for the best possible experience for our customers whether it be in sales or service,” Althoff explained. “And also, to make it easy to do business with us on your terms.”

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