Dr. Heidi Forbes Öste interviews Rich Webber, General Manage of Product and Marketing for Mercedes-Benz Vans USA & Nicolette Lambrechts, General Manage of Sales Operations for Mercedes-Benz Vans USA after the cross USA road trip.
This past year during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been faced with unique challenges that have fundamentally disrupted our daily life and necessitated a variety of creative solutions from our working life to our time off. Mercedes-Benz Vans has jumped in to create a unique business strategy, taking business to the streets. This month Mercedes-Benz Vans Rich Webber, General Manager of Marketing and Nicolette Lambrechts, General Manager of Sales Operations are embarking on a cross-country road trip in a Winnebago Sprinter and Metris Getaway covering 6,489 miles, 21 states and three coastlines. The team will use this rare opportunity to reconnect in person with dealerships, influencers and business partners in various markets, which has not been possible in recent months due to the pandemic. The road trip will help to provide support for product, dealers and internal teams to help find a new path to success. They’ll be living in and hosting meetings out of the Metris Getaway and Winnebago Sprinter with a tailgate setup to allow for social distanced outdoor meetings, living out the trends that we’ve been seeing within the vans segment.
Since March, there’s been an increase in demand from Van, RV and Parcel Van buyers looking for alternative solutions for their personal lives and businesses. We’re continuing to see customers embrace the #vanlife trend with rising interest in dual work/play vans, adventure vans and even retailers looking for pop up store applications. The RV industry has seen the highest demand in over four decades, along with a shift in the demographic with more than 50% of post-COVID business being first-time RV buyers of a younger demographic and more late-career RV purchases as an additional vehicle, rather than the typical empty-nester retirement purchase.
We’d like to offer you a special opportunity to speak with Rich and Nicolette on their cross-country journey to learn more about our current product offerings, sales and trends we’ve noticed with Vans this past year.