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MERCEDES-BENZ Trucks and Scania are offering incentives for buyers to get into a new truck on the back of the federal government’s asset write-down program.

Mercedes has a 90-day repayment-free program and Scania has increased its loan limit, added an interest-free period and a deferred payment on maintenance.

The “Drive Now, Pay Later” program from Mercedes-Benz Financial allows eligible customers to defer payments for two months and Mercedes will pay the third monthly payment.

The offer applies to on-highway models purchased before July 31. In a statement, Mercedes said its “Drive Now, Pay Later” program is on top of a free “Best Basic” service plan offer that covers eligible new trucks for five years or 800,000km.

Actros models also come with 12-month free access to MB Telematics, a locally-developed telematics program.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks director, Andrew Assimo, said the “Drive Now, Pay Later” offer is designed to help customers get on with their business.

“This offer represents another way that Mercedes-Benz Trucks can help our customers succeed in a difficult environment,” he said.

Buyers can also qualify for the federal government’s Backing Business Investment stimulus package that includes the instant asset write-off program or the 50 per cent accelerated depreciation deductions for applicable purchases.

Mercedes-Benz Financial is also offering truck ownership solutions including a popular program called Agility Guaranteed Buy-Back. This guarantees the future value of the truck based on the selected term and kilometre allowance. It means that at the end of the term, the customer can trade-in, retain or return the truck to Mercedes-Benz Finance at the guaranteed future value amount.

Service plans, which were introduced in Australia by Mercedes-Benz Trucks back in 1979, give customers the assurance that their vehicles are serviced by factory-trained technicians using genuine parts and lubricants in order to remain in top condition.

Scania is also attracting new business with offers on its New Truck Generation range that allow customers ordering selected short lead time vehicles before September 30, 2020 and taking delivery before December 31, 2020 to access sales initiatives.

It includes the instant asset write-off or 50 per cent accelerated depreciation for investment programs where applicable and presently scheduled to terminate on June 30, 2021.

Scania Australia director of sales Dean Dal Santo said the company was proactively offering solutions for new vehicle acquisition and servicing.

“We understand that increased cost pressures brought to bear by the coronavirus crisis require urgent action,” he said.

“Working in conjunction with Scania Finance Australia (SFA), we have developed the initiatives targeting selected short lead time vehicle purchases. This program has been designed to have immediate impact, making it possible for operators to renew their fleet or continue with planned fleet replacements as well as maintain the vehicles in prime condition.”

He said one of the motivators was the further tightening of lending criteria by the major financial institutions “which may make it unduly onerous for some customers to be able to complete a much-needed purchase.”

“So Scania has expanded its already well received ‘low doc’ loan programme. We also promise a fast decision on a loan request, again to reduce the pressure on customers keen to get on the road in a new truck,” he said.

The initiatives include increasing the loan limit for existing customers of SFA to $750,000, or $500,000 for customers new to SFA (subject to SFA credit criteria, conditions apply).

In addition, there is a six-month interest-only period for the vehicle and also a deferred payment offer for repair and maintenance agreements on selected new vehicles.

“These are carefully considered offers aimed at ensuring customers who may be looking at restricted cashflow for reasons completely outside their control, can continue to function with a higher degree of normality than they may have thought possible,” he said.

“Scania’s network of nine company-owned workshops and parts branches across Australia ensures we remain closely aligned with our customers’ uptime focus.”

He said that despite the impact of the coronavirus across Australian business, Scania has maintained full capacity at its service branches.

By Neil Dowling