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Mercedes-Benz Financial Completes First Phase of eStrategy Initiative

January 11, 2011

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — Mercedes-Benz Financial Services is nearing completion of the first stage of its "eStrategy" initiative, as company officials said they expect the percentage of dealers eligible to integrate a full electronic contract data validation system into their dealer management system (DMS) to reach 100 percent in the first quarter of 2011.

The company's eStrategy consists of two major elements:

• eValidate: Contracts are automatically validated to ensure they are error-free before being submitted to Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.

• eContracting: Allows dealers to electronically submit contracts to Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, significantly reducing printed material; development begins 2011.

"We are excited to see the completion of eValidate with our dealers because ensuring the accuracy of every deal from every dealer sets the stage for eContracting," said Dietmar Exler, vice president and head of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services last year launched the rollout of eValidate and became the first captive in the premium segment to offer the fully automated contract validation system that integrates with the DMS.

eValidate is designed to perform over 100 validations on worksheets, agreements and contracts in a matter of seconds. eValidate instantly recognizes factors such as residual values, special marketing programs and state and local tax codes, and reconciles that data for complete accuracy on a new contract. This takes place before the contract is submitted to Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and while the customer is still at the dealership.  

"Using eValidate eliminates contract mistakes for us and inconvenience for our customers," said Nadia Hamda, finance director of Downtown LA Motors in Los Angeles. "We are in a very competitive market and having a tool like eValidate checking contracts in just seconds, telling us if they are valid or not, and giving the reasons, makes a positive impact on our customer service."

The rollout is now complete for Mercedes-Benz dealers using service providers Advent and ADP (Automatic Data Processing). Dealers using Reynolds & Reynolds as their service provider reached 85 percent completion by the end of last month. The Dealer Track DMS eValidate rollout will be complete in the first quarter of 2011.

Dealer eligibility for eValidate means that Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and the dealer service provider have worked together on a state-by-state basis on forms and information transfer to ensure that eValidate recognizes laws and tax codes of the state in which the dealer resides.

"eValidate is a valuable tool in our contract funding process," says Patricia Ballin, finance director for Fletcher Jones Motorcars in Newport Beach, Calif. "Our funding turnaround time has never been faster and our contract discrepancies are extremely low. I would highly recommend eValidate to all Mercedes-Benz dealerships."

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services has been assisted in the eValidate integration by Open Dealer Exchange which provides the pipeline for ADP and Reynolds & Reynolds to send deal information to Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. Open Dealer Exchange is a joint venture between ADP and Reynolds & Reynolds.

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