A crystal clear partnership

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services has just celebrated its crystal anniversary – 15 years of providing its customers with innovative products and services that extend beyond its core business

If your vehicles are your livelihood and you want to grow, you need a reliable partner who can give you the backing you need as well as sound advice. For many, the financial services division of Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) has proved to be that partner.

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services South Africa (MBFS) is 100 percent owned by MBSA and has secured its position in the market thanks to a diverse portfolio that offers tailor-made finance and insurance solutions for both passenger cars and commercial vehicles.

The company offers a comprehensive range of financing options, including:
* Contract purchase, which gives customers a choice of options at the end of the loan agreement period;
* Instalment agreement – the traditional type of car loan, with the option of balloon instalments where a final instalment negotiated at the start of the contract enables lower monthly instalments;
* Lease with the option of ownership;
* Private rental based on an agreed mileage, with the vehicle returned at the end of the contract period;
* Flexifix – fixed-rate financing that minimises the impact of interest rate increases on the customer; and
* Operating lease – an off-balance sheet offering for the commercial vehicle market.

Says Franz Koller, CEO of MBFS: “Retention of our customer base will always be our main priority, allowing our customers to experience superb service levels and ensure that they return to our showrooms to test drive and finance more of our brands.

“The drive for continuous improvement ignites the spirit of innovation. We remain at the top of our game by looking critically at both our products and our services, and finding ever-better solutions for clients.”

And finance isn’t the only solution on offer. MBFS is always adapting to the needs of the customer. For example, a need was identified for expansion beyond vehicle finance. “We launched our home insurance portfolio in association with Alexander Forbes as a direct result of an expression by clients for a one-stop-shop solution,” Koller says.

In the vehicle segment, there’s the ExecuProtect and ValueProtect portfolio of products, while the home section contains the ExecuHome and ValueHome portfolio. Together, they offer consolidated premium quality cover for vehicle and household maintenance and repairs, with a basket of additional value-added products.

Customers are able to insure their home contents, secondary motor vehicles and other personal assets on the same policy as their vehicles, all on one debit order, thus saving on premiums, policy fees and admin.

Home insurance is underwritten by Alexander Forbes Insurance, with motor products underwritten by both Alexander Forbes and Regent Insurance.

“Customers have the ease of insuring all their motor and non-motor assets under one policy, which not only offers great convenience to them, but assists us in building long-term relationships with our customers”, says Koller.

While forging strong relationships is arguably one of the most important aspects of any business, MBFS is also extremely people-focused when it comes to employees and the communities within which they work. With an emphasis on developing and empowering employees, MBFS has been rated second in the Deloitte “Best Company to Work For” survey within the financial services sector.

Corporate social investment programmes allow the company to play a leadership role in many communities, MBFS being a long-term supporter of the Rally to READ programmes in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga, and the Habitat for Humanities home-build project in Gauteng.

With an eye to carrying on this holistic approach and being that partner customers can rely on for the next 15 years, Koller concludes: “Innovation drives us to achieve ‘nothing but the best’ and we anticipate even greater levels of success in the future.”

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