Mercedes-Benz Bank to Launch Subscription Service | Auto Finance News | Auto Finance News

Mercedes-Benz Bank to Launch Subscription Service

Franz Reiner, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Bank AG (Via Daimler AG)

The financial arm of Mercedes-Benz said today that it will soon launch a subscription service called “Mercedes me Flexperience.”

Mercedes said the pilot program will be launched through its Mercedes-Benz Bank in Europe “in the next few weeks.”

In January, reports surfaced that Mercedes-Benz was planning to pilot a car subscription service this year. Mercedes me Flexperience joins other subscription offerings from captives, including Book by Cadillac, Care by Volvo, and Porsche Passport.

Mercedes me Flexperience will give customers the option to drive up to 12 different vehicles for a year for a fixed monthly installment fee.

The rental price — which Mercedes did not disclose — includes all costs from insurance to service and repairs to tires, including driving rights for up to 36,000 kilometers a year.

According to Mercedes, the new offer is based on Mercedes-Benz Rent, the rental service from Mercedes-Benz Bank.

The joint project was developed by Daimler Financial Services and Lab1886, the innovation hub of Daimler AG.

The way it works is an app allows customers to choose their car. The customer picks it up at a dealership, drives it for a month and then returns the vehicle. Pilot operation will launch with two of the largest car dealer groups in the German Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales network, BERESA and LUEG.

“Whereas previously, our focus was on the financing of vehicles, it has now turned to every facet of automotive mobility,” said Franz Reiner, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Bank AG and a board member for Daimler Financial Services AG, said in a press release. “The trend among our customers is towards flexible vehicle use and detailed billing that uses telematics to record the actual use.”

He detailed several additional mobility uses the company will focus on, including vehicle turn-in plans, flat rates with insurance and servicing included, and car rentals booked from smartphones.

“In the future, we will also integrate mobility services such as carsharing into our vehicle financing, in addition to making offers specifically for electrically powered vehicles,” he added.

Mercedes-Benz Bank’s loan and lease outstandings grew to $33.1 billion in 2017 — a 12% year over year increase, according to the release.

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