FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — Mercedes-Benz Financial is now taking its mobile strategy to the showroom floor by putting the Apple iPad into the hands of its dealers and giving them mobile access to its proprietary point-of-sale dealer system called MB Advantage.
In doing so, Mercedes-Benz Financial is one of the first automotive finance 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.