Daimler inks UAE finance JV, eyes $544m sales
Abu Dhabi , October 7, 2009
Daimler Financial Services, one of the world’s leading provider of automotive financial services, has signed a JV with two of the biggest auto distribution groups in the UAE and aims to build contract volume worth over Dh2 billion ($544 million).
The venture with Al Fahim Group, owners of Emirates Motor Company, the authorised distributor of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Abu Dhabi, and Gargash Enterprises, the official Mercedes-Benz distributor in Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates, will offer customers a complete range of financial services products, including shari’a compliant financing, from a single source.
The signing of the new JV sees the formation of two companies, Mercedes-Benz Finance Middle East and Mercedes-Benz Leasing Middle East, which for the first time in the UAE, will provide private and business customers new options to buy or lease new or pre-owned Mercedes-Benz passenger cars or commercial vehicles.
With this deal, Mercedes-Benz has begun a new era in auto finance in the UAE, said a top official.
“Our presence in the UAE is of high strategic importance for Daimler Financial Services,” said Juergen Walker, chairman of the Board, Daimler Financial Services, Berlin, at a press conference in Abu Dhabi.
“Once we have successfully established our operations here, in the mid-term we will decide about offering auto finance services in other GCC countries,” he noted.
The UAE represents the most important automotive market in the GCC for Mercedes-Benz. In 2008, the company delivered 7,800 Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and 3,100 commercial vehicles in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates.
Andreas Ernst, managing director of Mercedes-Benz Finance and Mercedes-Benz Leasing said that the medium-term goal of the new companies was to achieve a contract volume of more than Dh2 billion in the UAE.
“To meet this target, we will be offering a broad range of new financial products to meet the needs of private or business customers from a single source and will support our dealerships with an electronic point-of-sale system that will result in faster loan decisions and a customer-friendly process,” Ernst pointed out.
Ernst added that the companies would be bringing new to the market and exclusive financial services offerings, such as “Choices”.
“Choices” would give Mercedes-Benz customers the option to combine low monthly payments with highest flexibility at term-end. Here, the customer can decide to pay-off the loan, trade in the vehicle for a new Mercedes-Benz, extend the loan or simply return the vehicle at the Mercedes-Benz dealership.
Business customers could also take advantage of full-service fleet leasing plans with tailor-made add-on products such as telematics, driver training or fleet consultancy, he added.
Rashed AJ Al Fahim, chairman of the Al Fahim Group, said, “We are confident and expect stronger Mercedes-Benz sales. The start of our jointly owned financial companies will further boost the attractiveness of the Mercedes-Benz brand in Abu Dhabi.”
Abdul Jabbar Gargash, executive director of Gargash Enterprises, said, “For the first time, we can now provide our Mercedes-Benz customers in Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates with a broad range of financial services products that makes owning a new or used Mercedes-Benz the easiest it has ever been.”
With its new financial services arms in the UAE, Daimler Financial Services has further expanded its global presence.-TradeArabia News Service