Published on April 6th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair0
Australian BMW and Benz Customers ALREADY get Financial Relief
The month-long Movement Control Order has put enormous strain on most Malaysian businesses. Many with hire purchase loans will be unable to make repayments in the coming months as cash flow dries up. Bank Negara Malaysia was right in putting an automatic 6 month moratorium for housing loans and hire purchase done through licensed banks and financial institutions. However, many Mercedes-Benz and BMW customers nowadays opt to obtain their vehicles through in-house financing.
According to this FAQ page, Mercedes-Benz Services Malaysia is not a licensed bank or financial institution. They note that the company is working on a solution, but nothing concrete is in place ye. You can even try to contact them, but you may be put on hold as the volume of incoming calls is high.
BMW Credit Malaysia is providing customised solutions for customers depending on their financial situation during this time. But this is still not automatic. You will have to contact them at [email protected] so that they can personally review your program and provide a solution.
Now that alone isn’t too bad of a situation. What got our attention was that their Australian counterparts already have some solutions ready.
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Australia
Despite posting 5 years of record sales in Malaysia, it was the Australian team that showed how to give something back to customers. They clearly state on their website that in-house financing / leasing payments car be deferred up to 6 months with some conditions attached. Here’s the full text of their statement for your reference:
“The COVID-19 virus continues to present unprecedented challenges and is affecting our customers and the community both locally and abroad. Supporting you and your business as we navigate through this complex and rapidly changing environment remains an absolute priority for Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.
We have introduced a number of supporting measures to assist you during these difficult times including the potential to defer your finance / lease payments for up to 6 months. We take this opportunities to remind you that you need to maintain comprehensive insurance over the vehicle for the term of your finance contract. If you have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and are unable to meet your obligations and require financial assistance, we ask you to please complete the below Financial Assistance Form. Please also indicate should you not be able to meet your insurance obligations under your MB Insurance policy. All contracts with payments deferred will have capitalised interest on the remaining term and all Agility contracts that are extended will have their guarantee future values adjusted.”
BMW Group Australia
BMW’s solution isn’t quite concrete but they appear to be willing to help customers out on a case-by-case basis. Here’s an excerpt of their statement on COVID-19:
“We are also aware of COVID-19’s potential impact on your BMW Finance Contract. If you have concerns, please email us at [email protected]
Thank you for your continued loyalty, understanding and patience during this unprecedented situation.”
Malaysia’s Movement Restriction Order began on the 18th of March 2020. Australia’s response came a few days later and was done differently from ours. Some would say it’s less stringent than our measures have been. So, why even with a head start, are Mercedes-Benz Malaysia and BMW Malaysia taking their time with in-house financing relief? Is it Malaysia’s lax consumer law or something else that is influencing their decision? What do their HQs in Germany make of the situation?