The automaker's top sales executive, Joachim Schmidt, told Automotive News that the automaker is opening a new showroom in China every week, a pace dealers in other markets cannot fathom. The Chinese market is so strong, in fact, that Mercedes' sport-oriented AMG division opened its first standalone showroom in Beijing earlier this month.
While Mercedes-Benz itself would like to get in on the action with a few corporate-owned dealerships, Schmidt says that regulatory roadblocks are unsurmountable for the German automaker.
"It is too strange, and it is quite complicated. That's why we decided not to become a dealer."
However, the automaker's most successful North American dealers are finding similar challenges.
Penske Automotive Group CEO Roger Penske told the industry journal that his firm, the second-largest dealership in North America, is having a hard time making a business case in China.
"We haven't found the scale," Penske said. "Mercedes would be a great brand to go to China with, or any luxury brand for that matter, but at the moment we have not found it would meet our capital."