Mercedes-Benz Financial announced today it has become the first automotive finance company to give dealers mobile access to its point-of-sale dealer system. The company has decided to make the Apple iPad available to its US dealer network.
Mercedes will implement its Proprietary MB Advantage dealer system which will become available through the Apple iPad interface. They hope this will bring their business extra flexibility, information on the showroom floor.
Moreno said he started using his own iPad on a limited basis to handle leased vehicles, and is now among the dealers in the company's official iPad pilot program. When the customer arrives, Moreno carries his iPad with him outside to do returns on the spot.
Mercedes-Benz Financial, which has received more than $5 million in lease and loan payments from customers via their mobile phone devices since becoming the first auto finance company to establish that payment channel late last year, is now taking its mobile strategy to the showroom floor to benefit dealers and customers.
Mercedes-Benz Financial today announced that it is putting the Apple iPad(TM) into the hands of its dealers, becoming the first automotive finance company to give dealers mobile access to its proprietary point-of-sale dealer system called MB Advantage. In doing so, Mercedes-Benz Financial is one of the first companies to adapt the consumer-oriented iPad as a mobile business tool.
MB Advantage on the iPad will give dealership sales personnel instant access to marketing programs for specific models, quicker turn time on the credit application process, and increase speed and efficiency on the return of lease vehicles.
"We see the iPad providing wireless mobility, information and flexibility on the showroom floor," said Andreas Hinrichs, Vice President of Marketing for Mercedes-Benz Financial. "The iPad will provide a competitive advantage to our dealers by increasing their service levels through a more flexible financing process."
Hinrichs said the size and versatility of the iPad makes it compatible to access MB Advantage via the mobile device and to take the dealer system from the finance & leasing office to the showroom floor.
Mercedes-Benz Financial will distribute iPads to 40 selected dealers throughout the United States to test iPad as a business tool. The company will monitor iPad usage and collect feedback from dealers and field sales staff over the summer.
Improvements to MB Advantage on iPad, based on dealer feedback, will be incorporated before potentially making the mobile device available to all Mercedes-Benz dealerships later this year.
"With the exciting, new products coming out from Mercedes-Benz, the iPad with MB Advantage gives us tremendous credibility with our clients," said Bernie Moreno, President of Mercedes-Benz of North Olmsted, Ohio, near Cleveland.
Since launching its iPhone app last October, which allows Mercedes-Benz Financial customers to make payments on their vehicle lease or loan from their iPhone, Mercedes-Benz Financial has had more than 13,000 downloads, approximately 5,000 payments and $3.6 million in payments received.
That launch was followed in March by giving customers who use smart phones the same capability to manage their Mercedes-Benz Financial accounts from their mobile devices. That has resulted in over 15,000 visitors, more than 2,000 payments and $1.5 million received in payments.