Daimler AG announced it plans invest several million euros into California-based AutoGravity, a smartphone-based vehicle leasing and financing app.
The investment by Daimler is described as part of company’s effort push to build a digital platform for financial services that will appeal to younger consumers who bank and pay bills, using smart phones.
AutoGravity is not quite two years old, but its already been deployed in more than 40 states with a phone app that allow buyers to find tailored buying and leasing offers.
It features multiple vehicle brands and models, and enables various financial services providers and automotive manufacturers the opportunity to offer vehicle financing and leasing via smartphone.
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The move is among many recently by automakers and finance companies searching for partners that offer ways to simplify old and new processes and concepts.
Ford Motor Co. recently said it signed a deal with a San Francisco start-up company, Auto Fi, to allow customers to purchase or finance a new Ford vehicle in minutes from anywhere, on any device through a new platform from Ford Motor Credit Co. and AutoFi.
In addition, Ford Credit also invested in AutoFi as Ford Credit continues pursuing technological advances to make the financing experience easier for consumers to navigate.
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Daimler and Volkswagen have also made targeted investments in companies offering mobile apps for parking and car sharing with the objective of making it easier for youthful consumers to purchase vehicle-oriented services is essentially the same.
“By combining our fast and efficient credit-decision process with AutoFi’s online capability, we are making the customer experience faster, smoother and simpler,” noted Lee Jelenic, Ford Credit director of mobility after Ford announced the investment in AutoFi.
“With its experience in used-vehicle online financing and well-developed platform, AutoFi makes it easier for us to adopt new technology quickly to meet evolving consumer expectations,” he added.
(To see more about Daimler’s push into ride- and car-sharing, Click Here.)
Surveys indicate that 83% of Americans say they would like to spend as little time at the dealership as possible when shopping for or buying a car. Speeding up the financing process is considered a critical element of improving the consumer’s dealership experience, experts note.