NEW ORLEANS - Speaking to the American Financial Services Association's (AFSA) 9th Annual Vehicle Finance Conference and Exposition on January 28, DaimlerChrysler Services Americas President and CEO Klaus Entenmann outlined a unique set of challenges facing the automotive finance industry.

"With our sole focus on profitably assisting the vehicle manufacturer in the sale of new vehicles, those of us who are 'captive' finance companies have a unique set of challenges on top of those facing our non-captive competitors," Entenmann said.

Recognizing these challenges, Entenmann told the audience of several hundred finance executives and industry observers that DaimlerChrysler Services has enjoyed success in recent years by taking advantage of its organizational structure, leveraging internal synergies and best practices across brands and emphasizing a singular focus on customer relationships.

"Our organizational structure takes advantage of the various brands within the DaimlerChrysler AG worldwide enterprise, the geographical reach of the brands across the enterprise, and leveraging the best business practices that can be shared within the enterprise," he said.

DaimlerChrysler Services Americas has four operating units in its business structure: Mercedes-Benz Credit, supporting the Mercedes-Benz brand; Chrysler Financial, supporting the Chrysler Group brands of Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge; DaimlerChrysler Services Truck Finance, supporting Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star heavy duty trucks, Thomas Built buses and other trucks; and DaimlerChrysler Insurance Company, which primarily insures dealer inventories and properties.

Entenmann said the company's singular focus on the customer relationship drives the execution of the company's vision, mission and its newly-defined core values of: Respect, Openness and Integrity; Financial and Social Responsibility; Customer Focus; Commitment to Excellence; Inspired and Empowered Employees.

Entenmann said the company's marketing strategy focuses on its three core customers: brand partners, dealer partners and retail customers.

Entenmann said these efforts have yielded dividends from dealer customers based on the results of the 2004 Summer NADA (National Automobile Dealer Association) Survey which show Chrysler Financial scoring "Most Improved" or "Better Than Industry Average" in most categories of the survey.