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CARMEL, Calif. — Now that he has a fresh lineup of technologically advanced cars, the top Mercedes-Benz executive in the U.S. says the next step is to improve the knowledge of the people who sell and service them.

Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon wants Mercedes' dealers to send their staffs to a three-day "immersion program" in Alabama so they can see the company's U.S. factory, drive the cars both on- and off-road and learn of the brand's heritage.

Cannon says he wants to work with "our dealers to really raise our game." He told reporters at the Quail Motorsports Gathering that he thinks some Mercedes sales people need to know more about the vehicles they are selling and the history of the brand. The scope of the boot-camp program could be huge, up to 23,000.

Cannon says he wants to take full advantage of the stronger U.S. economy to advance Mercedes among luxury brands. "We have this narrow window for our brand," he says, of an upswing in the economy coupled with a raft of new models coming to market.

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