The number of cars and commercial vehicles financed or leased by Daimler Financial Services reached a new all-time high of more than 4.3 million at the end of financial year 2016. New business and contract volume also rose once again, and the combination of sales financing with brokered automotive insurance policies continued to gain in importance as well. During the year under review, we further expanded our range of innovative mobility services. car2go increased its customer base to more than 2.2 million in 2016, while mytaxi, after merging with Hailo, now has approximately six million customers and more than 100,000 drivers in its taxi network, which is the largest in Europe.
Nearly half of all vehicles delivered to customers are financed or leased by Daimler Financial Services
During the year under review, Daimler Financial Services concluded 1.6 million new financing and leasing contracts worth a total of €61.8 billion. The total value of all new contracts rose by 7% compared with the previous year. The sales and leasing activities at Daimler Financial Services supported approximately half of all new-vehicle sales by our automotive divisions in 2016.
More than 4.3 million financed or leased vehicles were on the books at the end of 2016; this corresponds to a 14% increase in contract volume to €132.6 billion. The acquisition of Athlon Car Lease International accounted for €3.7 billion of the increase in contract volume. Adjusted for Athlon and exchange-rate effects, the increase amounted to 10%. EBIT rose to a new high of €1,739 million (2015: €1,619 million).
Significant increase in new business in Europe
During the year under review, Daimler Financial Services concluded approximately 840,900 new financing and leasing contracts worth €26.9 billion (+9%) in the Europe region. Particularly high rates of growth were recorded in Spain (+29%) and Italy (+25%). In Germany, Mercedes-Benz Bank’s new business increased by 11% to €11.9 billion; the volume of deposits in the direct banking business totaled €11.5 billion (+11%). During the year under review, Daimler Financial Services’ total contract volume in Europe rose by 17% to €53.4 billion; this development was due in part to the acquisition of Athlon Car Lease International.
Slight decrease in new business in North and South America
Daimler Financial Services brokered about 447,200 new financing and leasing contracts worth €21.5 billion in North and South America in 2016 (-2%). New business was thus slightly below the figure for the prior year; this decrease was largely due to a decline in business in Brazil and Argentina. However, business developed very positively in Mexico (+9%). All in all, contract volume in the Americas rose by 7% to €54.2 billion in the year under review.
Strong growth in new business in Africa & Asia-Pacific region
New business in the Africa & Asia-Pacific region increased sharply once again in the reporting year, by 18% to €13.3 billion. Business development was especially strong in China (+25%) and Japan (+23%). At the end of 2016, contract volume in the Africa & Asia-Pacific region totaled €24.9 billion, which corresponds to a 23% increase over the previous year.
Ongoing high level of insurance business
Daimler Financial Services brokered approximately 1.8 million insurance policies in 2016, in line with the high level of the previous year. Our insurance business continued to be successful in China, where an average of 75% of Daimler vehicles were delivered with an insurance policy brokered by us. In 2016, the newly founded Mercedes-Benz Versicherung AG started with great success in Germany. More than 150,000 warrantyextension contracts were concluded in its first year.
Continued success for mobility services
Daimler Financial Services once again expanded its range of innovative mobility services in 2016. The number of customers using the car2go car sharing service increased to more than 2.2 million, thereby enabling car2go to maintain its position as the world’s leading flexible car sharing company. car2go began operating also in China in 2016, and 140,000 customers are now using the service in the metropolis of Chongqing. In addition, car2go has expanded its fleet to include Mercedes-Benz brand vehicles in Berlin, the Rhineland, Munich, Hamburg and Frankfurt.
We also further developed our moovel app in 2016. moovel allows customers in Germany to compare various mobility and transport-system options and then choose the best way to get from point A to point B. The app can also be used to book and directly pay for services provided by companies such as car2go, mytaxi and Deutsche Bahn. In April, Hamburg was integrated into the moovel app as the first city with more than one million inhabitants.
moovel users in Hamburg can now book and pay for trips taken throughout the city’s entire public transport network. The moovel Group also consolidated its activities in North America in the second quarter of 2016 by merging Globe Sherpa and RideScout and renaming the merged company moovel North America. With moovel transit, moovel North America is the leading provider of mobile ticket solutions for the apps of public transport companies in the United States. moovel has a total of more than 2.2 million users.
In July 2016, mytaxi and Hailo – two leading app-based taxi ordering services – joined forces to create a new merged company that has linked100,000 drivers in more than 50 cities and nine countries to create Europe’s largest taxi network, which now serves approximately six million customers. The company has its headquarters in Hamburg and operates under the mytaxi brand name.
In the third quarter of 2016, Daimler increased its stake in the exclusive Blacklane chauffeur service portal to 31% in order to further expand its global limousine services business. Blacklane currently operates limousine services in approximately 250 cities in more than 50 countries, as well as at 500 airports.
Fleet business expanded through the acquisition of Athlon
Daimler Fleet Management brokered a total of 53,000 new vehicles to commercial fleet customers in 2016, equivalent to growth of 9% compared with the previous year. In addition, Daimler Financial Services invested strategically in the European multi-brand fleet management sector at the beginning of December by acquiring Athlon Car Lease International from the DLL Group, which is part of Rabobank in the Netherlands.
At the end of December, Athlon had a contract volume of €3.7 billion and managed 268,000 vehicles. With the acquisition of Athlon, Daimler Financial Services has repositioned itself as a broad-based international provider of multi-brand fleet management services. In the future, all fleet management operations are to be carried out under the Athlon brand name. With the inclusion of the Athlon portfolio, Daimler Financial Services had a total of 361,000 contracts with fleet customers on its books in Europe at the end of 2016.
Focus on customer and employee satisfaction
Customer and employee satisfaction is a top priority at Daimler Financial Services. In 2016, independent surveys once again showed that we are a leader in numerous countries around the world with regard to customers’ and dealers’ assessments of our service quality. In the United States, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services once again finished at the top in three categories of a J.D. Power study of dealer satisfaction.
The basis for these and many other successes is formed by our highly motivated employees. In many countries, Daimler Financial Services also ranked among the top companies in the independent Great Place to Work Institute survey to determine the world’s best employers. Daimler Financial Services made it onto the list of the 25 best multinational employers worldwide for the second time in October 2016, finishing in fifth place.
Toll Collect system successfully expanded
The automatic system for truck-toll collection on German autobahns and selected federal highways continued to operate smoothly and reliably in 2016. The system recorded a total of 32.5 billion kilometers driven in the year under review. Daimler Financial Services holds a 45% equity interest in the Toll Collect consortium. The Federal Republic of Germany has collected a total of more than €48 billion in tolls since Toll Collect went into operation at the beginning of 2005. In June 2016, Toll Collect was contracted to develop and implement the required modifications to the existing toll system so that tolls can be collected on all federal highways as of July 2018.