• May 29, 2010
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]
Show full PR text
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


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well hopefully their sales force is using web based apps that a running on a corporate intranet, in which case it doesn't really matter what device you use - PC, tablet or phone. It's just a web browser app.

      Customizing for the iPad is an option, but just makes it a much more expensive project and locks them into that platform. If it's a web app then they could have device specific stylesheets and not much else would need to change.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mercedes following Hyundai? The world indeed is different now.

      Hyundai is giving Equus owners an iPad with an electronic drivers manual included in it. You can schedule dealer services through it as well.

      • 4 Years Ago
      I find it ironic that they are using the iPad when it can't even view their own website, or most car websites for that matter since they are all flash.

      Feels too much like a gimmick.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hahaha that's hilarious ... I didn't even think of that lol
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oh I do keep up on tech news. I'm also a professional flash designer. Have been for 10 years. Flash isn't going away. Apple is digging themselves a hole and are quickly becoming the evil everyone though MS was. I love how Apple says "The best way to view the web." (pssst...web designers, can you please redesign your sites so they work with our revolutionary device. You know, make them more like they were from 1999. Oh don't worry, you can use our ad system too. Much thanks!)

        HTML 5 is great, but it is hardly a flash replacement. Hell it isn't even finished yet (2012 is the anticipated date). It will be years before compatible browser penetration is equal to that of Flash. HTML 5 is just a specification. It isn't a magic application. Interactivity will always be Flash's domain until something comes along to challenge it. So far nothing has. The one thing HTML 5 could take over is video playback, but even that is a pain right now. No one can decide on what codec to use, so web designers have to provide multiple versions of the same video embedded so that the current browsers that support html 5 can actually play it. Boy that sounds great, let's create twice or three times the work load.

        Flash has its evils, and there are some horribly programmed flash apps running out there. But that is true of any web tech. Just look at quicktime/itunes. If people want to run Flash, that should be their choice, not Apple's.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah very ironic.

        Maybe, JUST MAYBE, if you followed up on the tech news a bit you would learn the reasons as to why Apple didn't go with Adobe's route when designing the iPad/Iphone. Maybe you'll even find out about all the big sites out there switching their support over to HTML5 (which is what Apple will be implementing on future OS for ipad/iphone etc).

        I'm so sick of hearing about everyone complaining about the lack of flash on these devices. It's a unstable and proprietary platform people. No need for it. Especially with what HTML5 has to offer.

        • 4 Years Ago
        It is obvious to me from reading the article that M-B will be developing their own app to work with the I-Pad.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, if it deosn't work the iPad would make a nice tray on which coffee and cake could be served.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I pitched this to GM and they turned it down...Guess I should have gone to MB
      • 4 Years Ago
      This will become interesting. Go MB and go Apple. XD
      • 4 Years Ago
      They were bound to find a decent use for the iPad at some point!
      Mike Graves
      • 2 Years Ago
      Buy it USED http://OldAppleStore.com
      • 4 Years Ago
      God-dammit Mercedes.... Stop adding cool and innovative business practices to your brand and just let me hate you!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        If you're worried about whether you'll be able to qualify to borrow money maybe you shouldn't be shopping at a luxury car dealership. I'm not completely against auto loans like some people are (since you might have a lot of money tied up in illiquid assets, or fairly liquid assets you would prefer to hold) but seriously way too many people who have no business being in a luxury car buy one anyway. I remember working some internship where one of the lowest paid workers in the office had just gone out and bought a brand new Lexus GS and the car probably cost 2x his annual salary. And he was super proud of it as if owning it would make other people think he's rich-I just thought he was a moron.
        • 4 Years Ago
        All subjective notions of cool aside, it's actually a great business tool. We've got them in our offices now and they make a lot of simple tasks easier. This will help MB salespeople to display the product AND sell the deal, paying for the iPad itself pretty quickly.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Great, people clueless about their cars will now have a car sold to them by a magical device.

        We're all becoming clueless.
        • 4 Years Ago
        recharged95. You're not seeing the benefit of this. By making it even easier for clueless people to buy expensive cars like the AMG's, it becomes even easier to scoop up used one down the road that aren't abused, as there will now be more low-mileage ones being sold because they didn't know what they were buying into.



        • 4 Years Ago
        @recharged:

        It is a new technology to make salespeople's jobs easier, and make the sales process smoother and easier on the customer. More information means customers can make more informed buying decisions. The only one here that is becoming clueless is you.
        • 4 Years Ago
        mb is copying hyundai?



        • 4 Years Ago
        Funny...I was just thinking the same thing! Brilliant idea.
      max_Mercedes
      • 4 Years Ago
      Interestingly enough NONE of the mercedes models (including the 2010 showroom models) support the IPAD. I have tested this and confirmed at the dealership. There is NO functionality, at least with IPODs and IPHONES you could at least listen to music even if you could not fully control - not so with the IPAD. So lets hope with the flood of IPADs at Mercedes Corporate offices that they will quickly work on this problem so the executives (and the mercedes owners) can listen to music too!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Its so a salesman in an MB showroom can just walk around with an iPad and not require a desk. I bet the 40 shops they initially use all have more sales associates than desks/computers.

      Ever think of that?

      I'd know.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Business as usual with Mercedes; concentration on sales and forget customer service and quality.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Smart marketing move, but other than lighter weight for the iPad, tablet PCs have been around for quite some time. The difference is now some businesses are seeing tech as a way to lure people in, not just eliminate some paper.
        • 4 Years Ago
        agree
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ditto: I feel like hospitals have been using this kind of "paperless" tech for years. Can't comment on the battery life though.
    • Load More Comments