Daimler Financial Services (DFS) has established a new subsidiary in Malaysia called Mercedes-Benz Services Malaysia Sdn Bhd, as announced to the media this morning in KL. DFS provides financing, leasing, fleet management, insurance and mobility services, and operates in over 40 countries worldwide.

Malaysia is DFS’ third market entry in Asia after China and India, and the company invested five million euros to set up this latest outpost. They mulled over the idea back in 2008, but the global financial crisis sidetracked plans, but what’s important is they’re here now.

“Entering the market in Malaysia is an important step that will help secure our lasting profitable growth. What’s more, we are pleased that our local customers will now also enjoy our automotive financial services, which meet the highest international standards,” said Klaus Entenmann, chairman of DFS, at the press conference.

As a start, Mercedes-Benz Services Malaysia (MBS) offers Mercedes-Benz and Fuso customers with a “one-stop shop” of financing options, which won’t be alien to customers of Merc’s premium rival BMW, which also has a financial arm. The three options available are HP Classic (straightforward equal monthly installments), HP Balloon (lower monthly payments with a final lump sum) and HP FlexiPay.

The latter gives customers the flexibility to structure their payments taking seasonal effects or festival periods into consideration. This option aims to help buyers effectively manage and plan their finances, which could be useful for businessmen and those whose cash flow aren’t consistent.

Meanwhile, HP Balloon could make Mercedes cars more accessible, as it lowers the monthy installment sum. By the time the final lump sum (agreed upon at time of purchase) is due, one can trade-in the car to pay off the remainder, if he/she hasn’t already done so earlier. Interest rates “will be competitive”.

In addition, MBS is also offering insurance solutions under the Mercedes-Benz Insurance Services banner, underwritten by partners Allianz and AXA. Upcoming plans include a payment protection insurance and a courtesy car program.

MBS isn’t just there for the customers, but dealers as well. “Financing options for our Mercedes and Fuso dealers are also available. We want to be a strong partner for our Malaysian dealers. The aim is to give dealers the opportunity to invest in other aspects of their business,” said MD Hilke Janssen, who had a hand in setting up the Indian business before she moved here.

MBS is also highlighting its digital presence – examples include a financial calculator on the Mercedes-Benz Malaysia website and an iPhone app called ‘myMBFS’ that enables customers to select a car model, calculate monthly installments and access info and promotions. Customers can also submit service inquiries via the app.

“We are investing in forward looking ways to reach out to our customers,” said Janssen who added that an Android version of the app is under development. An iPad app called iShowroom serves customers at all Mercedes showrooms.

An “opening offer” was revealed at the launch, where the RM363,888 Mercedes-Benz E200 CGI with one year insurance can be had with a low 0.58% interest rate from Mercedes-Benz Services. The promo is valid for this month.

For more info and enquiries, visit www.mercedes-benz-services-malaysia.com.my or call 1800 22 6237.