Mercedes-Benz Financial Services names 2 top execs

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. - 

On Monday, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA announced key appointments to its executive leadership team in support of the captive’s business priorities and growth strategies to help dealership throughout the U.S. and Canada. Both appointments are effective immediately.

The finance company said Rodolfo Dominguez has been appointed vice president of business transformation and chief digital officer. Johan Swart has been promoted to vice president and chief information officer.

“Our focus on talent development has created a strong leadership bench that is fueling our success for sustainable business transformation,” said Peter Zieringer, president and chief executive officer of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and regional head of Daimler Financial Services Americas.

“Rodolfo and Johan will set a strong precedent in finding innovative digital solutions that benefit our dealers, customers and employees to enhance the Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and Daimler Truck Financial brands,” Zieringer continued.

In addition to his role as chief digital officer, Dominguez becomes the first to lead the newly formed business transformation office. The captive explained he will lead a team of more than 90 members and will be responsible for the transformational change of people, processes and technologies that accelerate the company's vision of providing a first-class digital experience for key stakeholders in the Americas region.

Swart succeeds Udo Neumann, who is now the global CIO for Daimler Financial Services. Swart will lead more than 400 team members and direct overall IT strategy, resource planning, budgeting and operational initiatives for the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

The captive highlighted Dominguez and Swart co-led the delivery of an innovative technology solution in the U.S. and Canada to replace the company's core contract management systems and establish the foundation for future digital expansion.

Previously, Dominguez was vice president of enterprise portfolio management, responsible for overseeing the prioritization and execution of strategic enterprise-wide initiatives. Dominguez has held several roles of increasing responsibility throughout his career, leading teams in the United States, Canada and Mexico. These have included: vice president of global products, processes and systems; president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Canada; and business center director in Canada.

Before joining the company in 1996, Dominguez worked for Hussmann Refrigeration and KPMG in his native Mexico.

Most recently, Swart was senior manager of IT applications management. He joined Mercedes-Benz Financial Services as an IT senior manager in 2006 after serving as the CIO of financial services and sales for Mercedes-Benz South Africa, where he led the full integration of information technology management functions for the company's various IT units.

Swart began his career with Mercedes-Benz South Africa in 1998 as a business analyst in the IT division.

AutoGravity announces partnership with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services

In other company news, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services recently partnered with AutoGravity.

With Mercedes-Benz Financial Services fully integrated into the public beta release of a digital platform, California buyers using AutoGravity will experience a selection of retail installment contract and lease options when financing a new vehicle on the AutoGravity iOS App, Android App or mobile-responsive Web App. 

“AutoGravity was created to empower car buyers through their smartphones and give them access to a wide selection of auto finance options from the palm of their hands,” said Andy Hinrichs, founder and CEO.

“The partnership with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services provides choice for our users and gives Mercedes-Benz access to a broader pool of new and existing digitally savvy customers,” Hinrichs continued. “This is a prime example of how the AutoGravity platform benefits consumers, dealerships and lenders.”

Founded in 2015 in Irvine, Calif., AutoGravity uses proprietary technology to introduce efficiency, transparency and the power of choice to the auto financing process.

The AutoGravity app is designed to allow buyers to choose any new car make, model and trim, browse nearby dealerships that sell that vehicle, apply for financing online with three easy steps and select from up to four resulting finance offers. Customers then take their offer to the dealership and complete the process of leasing or purchasing the vehicle they selected with personalized finance offers in the palm of their hand.

The partnership gives AutoGravity users access to Mercedes-Benz Financial Services as a financing option when purchasing a Mercedes-Benz or smart vehicle, while offering the finance provider unprecedented pathway to the growing segment of smartphone-reliant customers.

“Our partnership with AutoGravity is valuable, because it enhances our positioning among the growing number of digital-savvy consumers who rely on smartphone technology when making purchasing decisions,” Zieringer said.

Instant loan and lease offers from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services will now be included among the options available on AutoGravity’s mobile and web apps.

The AutoGravity app is available for Apple devices running iOS 8.4 or higher on the App Store, Android devices running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) or higher on the Google Play Store and all web devices at www.autogravity.com.

The company added that financing for vehicles purchased in other states — as well as additional app features, updates and accessibility options — are currently under development, and will be announced soon.

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