Case Study D
‘National Dealer of the Year’ and the Bathurst AMG Experience for AMG Customers, Media and the Mercedes-Benz Dealer Network
Our Client’s Brief
Mercedes-Benz, the German luxury carmaker had a vision. They wanted to host an event that spared no expense when it came to the Australian launch of its wicked new C63 AMG sedan. Mercedes-Benz envisioned holding a four-day promotional extravaganza at Mount Panorama that not only included the National Media Launch of the most powerful C-class ever, but saw over 300 owners and key prospects and 400 dealer representatives drive the gamut of AMG models.
The DGC Proposal
Destination Group of Companies was delighted to be part of this major event with Mercedes-Benz. Work was under way as we succeeded in closing the iconic public road circuit for the week.
To reinforce the parallels, Benz hosted a number of touring car legends, led by five-times DTM champion Bernd Schneider, Ford V8 Supercar drivers Jamie Whincup and Will Davison, plus no fewer than 35 professional drivers as driving instructors on the day. The total value of the track-going and support vehicles used over the four days was $8.9 million and each of the AMG cars employed for circuit use was fitted each night with four new tyres, new brake pads, new brake discs and new brake fluid by a dedicated team of 12 engineers.
In all, more than 800 people were hosted over more than 30 chartered and commercial flights, 160 staff were employed over the four-day event.
Highlights of the Itinerary were as follows
- Media, AMG owners and key prospects, Dealer Principals, Sales and Service & Parts Managers were hosted at Australia’s spiritual home of motorsport, Bathurst’s, Mount Panorama, to the AMG Drive Experience.
- DGC coordinated flights, accommodation and logistics for the 800 guests, hosted under race conditions.
- DGC negotiated and secured group room bookings at over 25 accommodation venues and over 30 chartered flights.
- We enhanced the standard of accommodation with Mercedes-Benz branded products, slippers, L’Occitane bathroom amenities, and mini bar items including beverages and snacks for their stay.
- Provision of a superior reservation service for attendees to meet individual travel preferences and requirements.
- “Best practice” fare negotiation for airfares with providers.
- Charter of aircraft from Melbourne, Essendon and Bankstown to Bathurst and Orange as required as well as coordinating flights with major airlines such as Qantas and Rex.
- Coordination of off-site catering for welcome function, roof top Mt Panorama facilities. Catering was outsourced to a reputable Sydney company to ensure the highest of standards for the Mercedes-Benz contingency.
- Created the AMG Lounge where guests were able to relax with peers and hosts.
- Created an entertainment lounge with Daytona, pinball and other various machines.
- Produced an efficient and detailed online website to capture delegate data and provide sufficient information detailing the program arrangements for each category of attendees.
“It was the stuff dreams are made of!” The managing director of Mercedes Car Group, Horst von Sanden said. Securing the track was a coup in itself and the aim was to create a money-can’t-buy experience to keep owners faithful to the brand. To use the track under racing conditions was unique – one of the few times it has ever happened. DGC assisted in exceeding customer expectations by creating a genuine experience for all involved. It was an ambitious project, which became the centrepiece for Mercedes’ annual dealer awards and a string of other functions.
“It’s a memory unlikely to fade quickly. Sometimes you create for a good reason these benchmark events that stand out and become a kind of iconic experience that will never be repeated.” Horst quoted.
“The Destination Group of Companies has set an exemplary standard for managing such a complex event. To put it all together without any drama was a masterpiece.”
Horst von Sanden.
MD Mercedes Car Group Australia.