Pictured: Henning Boettcher, VWFS Mexico’s Chief Information Officer
Volkswagen Financial Services in Mexico has selected the Miles platform from global automotive finance, leasing and fleet software provider, Sofico, which currently manages more than 1.5 million vehicle contracts on a global basis, to better service its fleet, retail and insurance business lines throughout the country.
VWFS Mexico is currently in the midst of an intensive full service leasing implementation process with Miles, the leading hybrid fleet and retail contract management system, which it is set to complete in the third quarter of this year.
In Mexico, the fourth largest producer and exporter of new cars in the world, VWFS funds and manages over 327,000 vehicle contracts in its portfolio across the Group’s mainstream car brands, along with trucks from heavy truck specialists MAN and Scania.
Annually, VWFS Mexico finances around 140,000 contracts, some 13,000 of which are in the Mexican fleet market. But the financial services provider expects its fleet business to grow over the coming months and years and needed a platform that was both scalable and flexible enough to cope with the increased demand.
Currently only around 250,000 – 300,000 of the country’s 1.5 million new cars sold every year go into Mexico’s corporate arena, but projections suggest that this proportion will grow as more businesses realize the benefits of providing company vehicles.
While the overwhelming majority of VWFS Mexico’s automotive contracts are in the retail market, it is also growing its relatively new insurance business through its insurance division, Volkswagen Insurance Brokers. By the end of October last year, it had issued over 216,000 insurance policies, including warranties and motor insurance policies.
The current implementation project in Mexico is utilizing a pre-configured Miles Reference Implementation which speeds up the process considerably, while Sofico consultants are also re-using an interface developed by Sofico for VWFS in Australia and Ireland on previous projects.
Sofico has worked closely with VWFS Mexico on the implementation both in Belgium and Mexico, running definition workshops in both countries, and is hosting the Miles environments during the implementation phase of the project from its head office in Ghent.
After the system go-live which is set for this October, VWFS headquarters in Germany will then host the final platform in a newly designed on-premise cloud, running a series of pilots with up to 40 fleet specialist dealers in various strategic parts of Mexico to thoroughly test and evaluate the system.
There will then follow a general nationwide roll out through 2019 which will incorporate the remainder of the Group’s 268 dealers.
Henning Boettcher, VWFS Mexico’s Chief Information Officer, said: ”We were looking for one standardized, cloud-ready, hybrid platform that could handle all our business lines and Miles from Sofico provided us with the best option.
“We wanted a one platform strategy for our three main business lines and Miles fit the bill perfectly as it is both flexible and scalable enough to meet our needs. The use of cloud technology is a huge step forward in terms of scalability.
“We are completely on schedule with our implementation project and fully expect to go live in the last trimester of this year,” he added.
Luis Perez, Commercial Manager, Fleet and Truck Business, said: “We particularly liked Sofico’s commitment to the project. By opening an office here in Mexico, they underlined their commitment and support for us going forward, and this was an important factor for us.
“Our strategic partnership with them was an important boost to our confidence levels for the project, and their consultants have shown themselves to be highly knowledgeable, not just from an IT but also from a business sense.”
VWFS Mexico is Sofico’s first customer in the Latin America region and news of the contract appointment comes only a few months after the company established an office in the city of Puebla, southeast of Mexico City, staffed by existing personnel seconded from head office in Ghent, Belgium, and from Tokyo, Japan, along with a number of locally hired specialists.
The new office fits in with Sofico’s growth strategy of establishing a local presence in key markets so that customers can be better supported through these offices, with local, native-speaking staff familiar with the market.
The intention is to grow the Mexico-based staff so that Sofico customers throughout the Latin America region can be serviced more effectively.
Sofico Managing Director, Gémar Hompes, said: “We are delighted to be working with VWFS in Mexico, continuing the great working relationship we have with the Group in Australia and Europe.
“We are committed to supporting their business in Mexico and throughout the region. The offices of Sofico Services Mexico will function as our hub in the Latin America region. The establishment of local offices helps us stay close to our customers and helps us in attracting new staff with knowledge of the local market and local languages,” he said.