Mercedes-Benz Credit (MBC), a DaimlerChrysler Services business unit, announced the addition of six new Mercedes-Benz Credit Region Managers to be housed within the Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) regional structure.

According to the company, after a series of collaborative strategic sessions between MBC and MBUSA, a mutual decision was made to integrate their approach to the marketplace and align their organizational structures. The ultimate goal of both MBC and MBUSA is to improve communication and streamline processes between the two entities and the entire Mercedes-Benz dealer network, thereby resulting in greater customer satisfaction.

"This is a powerful team approach that benefits both the automotive and the finance elements of the Mercedes-Benz brand by integrating our philosophies, innovation and the expertise of our people," said Richard Wardwell, vice -president, Mercedes-Benz Credit. "We are investing in our brand leadership in order to capitalize on an already great relationship and provide our customers with the best brand experience possible."

The six region managers will work out of MBUSA's six regional offices and will be responsible for working closely with their brand counterparts on a day-to-day basis. Key responsibilities include joint establishment of marketing programs, dealer support and remarketing processes. The region managers will also be responsible for managing the dealer relations managers and further developing wholesale and capital loan products for the MB dealer body.

"Aligning our resources with MBUSA and empowering our MBC on-site management to make regional decisions are two critical steps in our effort to improve support to our dealers, customers and brand. MBC now has the ability to be in lock step with both MBUSA and the dealer body specific to each region. It is a smarter way for us to do business," said Wardwell.

Keith May, vice president of sales, MBUSA, played a significant role in the development of this integration initiative. "The inclusion of MBC management into our regional structure is a firm expression of our joint focus on the marketplace. This is one more important step in our ongoing effort to fully align the two Mercedes-Benz business units."

The three existing MBC region offices in Atlanta, Portland, Ore. and Wilmington, Del. will continue to handle acquisitions, contracts and dealer loan packages. They will also maintain overall responsibility for the MBC region alignment with MBUSA. The six new region managers will report up through their respective MBC Region Managing Directors.

The initial transition will begin in second quarter 2003 and will be fully operational by year-end. RGM support and day-to-day dealer interaction will continue to be handled by the in-market MBC dealer relations managers.

About DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC

DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC provides brand specific financing for automotive dealers' inventories and their retail consumers and does business as Mercedes-Benz Credit and Chrysler Financial. As DaimlerChrysler Services Truck Finance, it also finances commercial vehicles for affiliate products such as Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star. The company serves as the headquarters for the operations in the United States, Canada and Mexico and has over 5,000 employees who manage a portfolio of $82 billion with nearly five million contracts. DaimlerChrysler Services North America is a member of the DaimlerChrysler Services Group, headquartered in Berlin, Germany which operates in 39 countries with an employee base exceeding 10,000 and a global portfolio of EUR 109 billion.