- Daimler Financial Services acquires Welcome financial services group of automobile dealer Wiesenthal Autohandels AG
- Welcome Bank is renamed Mercedes-Benz Bank
- Daimler can now offer auto loans to customers and inventory financing loans to dealers throughout Austria for the first time
- Market presence to be significantly expanded beyond existing leasing business — portfolio to be doubled to about €1 billion by 2020
Daimler’s financial services division in Austria is being realigned through the acquisition of the financial services business of Wiesenthal Autohandels AG. The new acquisition is the Welcome Group, which currently has a contract volume of about €100 million.
The Group’s Welcome Bank GmbH was renamed Mercedes-Benz Bank GmbH on October 30, 2015. Through this bank, Daimler Financial Services will offer financing for new and preowned vehicles in Austria for the first time. Starting in the first quarter of next year, Daimler dealers throughout Austria will be able to offer their customers a broader range of financial services and also finance their own inventory through the new bank. Previously the Welcome Group was only able to offer leasing and insurance products via Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Austria GmbH. The Group’s existing customers will retain their contracts. The new Mercedes-Benz Bank GmbH in Vienna will operate independently of Mercedes-Benz Bank AG in Stuttgart, which also offers direct banking with customer deposits. The leasing and insurance activities of the Welcome Group have been merged with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Austria GmbH.
“We are investing in Austria because it is an important growth market for us. We want to double our portfolio in Austria to approximately €1 billion by 2020,” says Franz Reiner, the Daimler Financial Services AG Board of Management member responsible for the Europe region. “The new Mercedes-Benz Bank will play a major role in this regard, because from now on we can also offer auto financing in this country.”
Daimler’s financial services division is also receiving additional momentum from the successful sales performance of Mercedes-Benz. Whereas new vehicle registrations in Austria have decreased slightly in the past three years, Mercedes-Benz was able to increase its sales. Today it is the fastest-growing premium auto brand in Austria. Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Austria, which has been successfully operating on the market for the past 17 years, will also be able to continue its growth. Last year this financial services provider increased its new business by 12 percent to €247 million and set a historic record with a contract portfolio worth €452 million (+14 percent).
The portfolio of Daimler Financial Services in Austria also includes cross-brand fleet management as well as car2go, a carsharing service, which does not have fixed stations, has been operating in Vienna for four years and now comprises over 700 vehicles. With more than 85,000 customers and over 4.5 million leases to date, Vienna is one of the most successful car2go locations in the world.