German vehicle producer Mercedes-Benz is offering an innovative financing solution, called Agility, to help people upgrade their cars without worrying about complications or losing money.
Agility gives customers greater flexibility by offering three options at the end of their contract: purchase, trade or return. Mercedes said it was the first premium brand to offer leasing with a return option and the service was to meet demand for more sophisticated financing products.
The new service will also offer monthly payment options and Mercedes hopes it will expand its customer base.
"Agility was one more milestone for Mercedes-Benz's long-term roadmap in increasing the accessibility of its products to both private and commercial customers in China," said Alexandre Mallmann, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Auto Finance Ltd.
"As one more example of our business goal of providing the 'Best Customer Experience', the launch of the product will enable our consumers to realize their Mercedes-Benz dream sooner, while maintaining their financial freedom," he said.
Instead of making the ownership choice upfront and paying a large sum of money at one time, Agility will allow customers to drive a vehicle today and choose to own it in the future. The system will change the way customers think about financing their cars.
Within the two to three year leasing period, customers can enjoy their Mercedes-Benz cars with affordable monthly payments.
At the end of the contract, customers will be provided with three options: they can decide to purchase the vehicle, trade in the vehicle and upgrade to the latest model or simply return the vehicle to the dealership.
"Mercedes-Benz is dedicated to offering innovative financial and leasing solutions to our customers to satisfy their diverse needs," said Mallmann. "By offering Agility, we are giving customers greater flexibility to finance their cars and help open up the exciting world of Mercedes-Benz to an even larger audience."
Customers will be able to customize their Agility contract to fit their needs by choosing the contract term, maximum mileage they expect to drive each year and the monthly payment range that best meets their budget.
Customers could take immediate possession of a GLK with an affordable initial cost and a low monthly payment starting at 7,388 yuan, allowing them to enjoy three years of driving with the options at the end of the contract.
Customers can also enjoy a risk-free lease experience as the future value of the car is underwritten by Mercedes.
Mallmann said the financing service had huge potential in China, which made the company consider more innovative products to attract customers.
In Daimler AG, the parent of Mercedes-Benz, 40 percent of vehicles were sold under financing packages. However, in China, the company only financed one in every five vehicles last year, though Mercedes-Benz Auto Finance saw dramatic increase in 2013.
According to Mallmann applications for Mercedes vehicle finance increased by 153 percent and total activated contracts surged by 118 percent in 2013. He said the portfolio volume jumped 31 percent year on year.