For the preschooler who has everything, how about a $400 Mercedes convertible?

If you can’t afford a Mercedes for yourself, how about your preschooler? The car manufacturer is one of several selling $400 ride-on toys, with the aim of attracting future generations.

Call it a pow-pow-power move. Automakers like Mercedes and Jeep are playing the customer LTV long game by selling mini branded cars to young children in an effort to start building that sweet, sweet loyalty from a tender age. 

  • The market for mini cars and other ride-on toys is worth about $625m, but little of it goes back to the brands.
  • On every tiny $400 Mercedes sold, the automaker might see $10 in licensing royalties

Which is just fine with Mercedes: A mini sale hooks a potential child and might even turn the parent into a bigger fan of the brand.

As one analyst suggests, middle-class adults who can’t afford real Benzes can put these wheels under the tree.

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