Customers eager to buy a new Volkswagen, Bentley or Lamborghini but can't afford to pay it all up-front can now have financing approved via the Web through a new approval system designed by two Australian software developers.
Southpac Finance Systems and Eclipse Computing were contracted by Volkswagen Financial Services Australia, a leasing and finance subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, to build the new system.
Called Catalyst, the system enables Volkswagen dealers to enter a customer's auto finance quote and application details via a Web-based front end. The data is then analysed by a centralised credit and quoting engine, which allows deals to be processed almost immediately.
The system has slashed conventional finance application processing times in half, according to a statement released by Volkswagen Finance Services.
Catalyst also features a leasing and loan administration module which manages post-settlement processing, asset depreciation, account management and pay-out processing, while a wholesale floor-plan application provides individual dealers with monthly statements on vehicles they have on lease from Volkswagen.
Greg Moxon, managing director of Southpac, said the system is based on the developer's EQ leasing application suite, which took around three years and over $7 million to develop. The software integrates with a general ledger package for the printing of various accounting statements provided by Eclipse Computing.
Bureau Services Australia, a subsidiary of Southpac, will provide Volkswagen Finance Services with fully outsourced IT infrastructure support, services and hosting for the Catalyst system.
Chris Malberg, managing director of Volkswagen Finance Services Australia, claims Catalyst is an Australian first in automotive financing and that Volkswagen Finance Systems is considering implementing it in some of the company's other international operations, starting with New Zealand.
Malberg said the financier is working with Southpac on the possibility of making multilingual versions of Catalyst, which would enable it to be rolled out in Europe and Asia.
Volkswagen Finance Services predicts it will finance 40 per cent of new vehicle sales completed by the Volkswagen Group (including Bentley and Lamborghini), which expects to be selling 20,000 cars per annum by 2005.