Los Angeles -- Drew Slaven, Chief Marketing Officer at Mercedes-Benz in the U.S., says that Americans are radically changing the way they shop for cars, but actually buying them the way they have for more than a century. At a dinner with me this week during the Los Angeles Auto Show, Slaven pointed out that Mercedes’ budget for the brochures that dealers hand out in showrooms has gone from something like $17 million when he started at the company 16 years ago to $2 million -- “if that” -- now. The reason: Most people shop for cars online, then come in to the dealerships with their minds made up. They know the specs already.
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