Benz dealer iPad

The resounding successes of the iPhone and iPad have Apple shareholders dancing in the streets, but one area in which Apple hasn't been as successful, however, has been business applications. In fact, until recently, Apple retail stores used Windows-based devices to ring up orders. Now, Mercedes-Benz aims to be among the first companies to change that paradigm by bringing the popular iPad tablet into its showrooms.

The program, called Mercedes-Benz Advantage, puts the iPad into the hands of the automaker's sales force. With the iPad and Mercedes' new sales tool app, associates will have lightning-fast access to the latest deals, while also providing a quicker turnaround time for customer credit application processes. Benz also says the iPad will help speed up the time it takes to turn-in a leased vehicle. Andreas Hinrichs, Vice President of Marketing for Mercedes-Benz Financial, contends the Apple tablet will "provide a competitive advantage to our dealers by increasing their service levels through a more flexible financing process."

We dig that Mercedes is thinking outside the box to deliver an expedited shopping experience, but even better, we love the fact that the Apple iPad might help customers avoid the dreaded trip to dealership's finance room. Hit the jump to read over the press release.

[Source: Mercedes-Benz]
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Mercedes-Benz Financial expands mobile strategy to the showroom floor by equipping dealers with the Apple iPad TM Company among first to adapt consumer iPad for business use Proprietary MB Advantage dealer system accessible via iPad Increased flexibility, information on the showroom floor.

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. -- Mercedes-Benz Financial, which has received more than $5 million in lease and loan payments from customers via their mobile phone devices since becoming the first auto finance company to establish that payment channel late last year, is now taking its mobile strategy to the showroom floor to benefit dealers and customers. Mercedes-Benz Financial today announced that it is putting the Apple iPad TM into the hands of its dealers, becoming the first automotive finance company to give dealers mobile access to its proprietary point-of-sale dealer system called MB Advantage. In doing so, Mercedes-Benz Financial is one of the first 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. About Mercedes-Benz Financial Mercedes-Benz Financial, now in its 28th year of operation, provides financing for Mercedes-Benz dealers' inventories and their retail customers. Currently, more than 450,000 drivers in the United States enjoy the benefits of leasing or financing their Mercedes-Benz vehicles through Mercedes-Benz Financial. For more information visit Mercedes-BenzFinancial.com