Volkswagen Financial Services operate in 48 markets around the world. Since today, vehicle financing, leasing, insurance and mobility services are now also being offered to customers in Denmark by Volkswagen Semler Finans Danmark A/S, a joint venture between Volkswagen Financial Services and the Semler Group.
In the beginning, everything went according to plan for the company's two managing directors Rene Sterregaard and Swen Bankwitz and their team during the almost two-year project to set up these operations. The joint venture had already carried out a successful product launch of its new-vehicle business for dealers back in 2019 and was making arrangements in spring 2020 to move to its new base in Brøndby in preparation for entering the private customer business. In the further course of events, however, a number of extraordinary obstacles had to be overcome. To start with, the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic was unleashed in early 2020 and its effects increasingly set in. Work on the project had to be switched to videoconferences, travel restrictions (and temporary border closures) made international collaboration difficult, and a new way of working together emerged that is still a prominent practice today. In addition, the company was confronted with a new licensing process in Denmark, which the joint venture was one of the first financial services companies in the country to go through.
In spite of these hurdles, the project has been completed on schedule thanks to the grand efforts and commitment of all those involved. Now, Danish customers can lease or finance their new Volkswagen Group vehicle through Volkswagen Financial Services and purchase further mobility-related services from the captive provider as well.
"We want to create a win-win-win situation – for our customers, the dealers, and the Volkswagen Group brands. Our goal is to become the leading digital automotive financial services company in Denmark," as Rene Sterregaard, Managing Director Front Office of Volkswagen Semler Finans Danmark A/S, describes the objective of the new company.
Great importance has therefore also been attached to digitalization. Swen Bankwitz, Managing Director Back Office of Volkswagen Semler Finans Danmark A/S, explains: "In the future, we want to interact here with our customers digitally and directly. So that we can draw on fast and streamlined structures, our IT systems are hosted in clouds, for example, and the credit processes are implemented using electronic legitimation and digital signatures. With these and other elements, we intend to set standards in digitalization."
The 60 or so employees at Volkswagen Semler Finans Danmark A/S are really proud that everything worked out on time despite the trying conditions. Sterregaard underlines the achievement: "I'm absolutely delighted that we're ready to start up on time despite all the adversities. I would like to thank our employees for their dedicated commitment over the past few months – even though our work is only just beginning. I'm also looking forward to working in the future with our dealer partners, whom we've recently only been able to see and connect to our new systems online via videoconferences."
With 198,125 new registrations in 2020, Denmark is a medium-sized European market for motor vehicles. However, similar to the situation in Germany, around 70 - 80 percent of all new vehicles are either financed or leased. This is why Lars Henner Santelmann, CEO of Volkswagen Financial Services, is also enthusiastic about the launch in Denmark: "We are very pleased that we are now also starting up our financial services business in our neighboring country of Denmark and therefore opening up further potential for growth. Together with the experienced colleagues from Semler, we will be offering a wide range of vehicle- and customer-related services in Denmark in the future in order to reinforce once again our role as Europe's leading captive and thus, of course, also promote the sales of the Volkswagen Group."
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