Chrysler Financial Sees More Services in Future, Mercedes-Benz Financial Finds New Offices

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., and FORT WORTH, Texas — In addition to identifying top executives, Chrysler Financial said its recent independence from DaimlerChrysler will cause no disruption in services or programs.

In fact, company officials indicated the new parent company, Cerberus, may lead to new services and programs in the future.

The captive announced its management team as Cerberus closed the deal to buy a majority stake in Chrysler earlier this week:

President, Chief Executive Officer: Paul Knauss

Chief Operating Officer: William Jones Jr.

Canadian President, COO: Gino Cozza

Vice President of the Insurance Company: Jim Haan

Vice President and General Counsel: Tracy Hackman

Vice President of Sales, Marketing: Mark Manzo

Vice President of Human Resources, Administrative Services: Machelle McAdory

Vice President of Finance, Controlling: Karla Middlebrooks

Vice President of Customer Service, Collections: Pat Milantoni

Mexican President: Johannes Riesterer

International Vice President: Frank Werner

"Our role at Chrysler Financial is crystal clear, to continue providing competitive financing services to our Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealers and help them build customer loyalty to their brands," explained Paul Knauss, president and chief executive officer of Chrysler Financial.

"Our new status as a stand-alone company will help us do that more effectively and make us an even more valuable partner to Chrysler," he continued. "We also have the opportunity to expand beyond our traditional boundaries within automotive financial services."

He went on to say that the company's 4,200 employees at the headquarters in Farmington Hills and throughout North and South America will continue to manage the global portfolio of $75 billion.

Moreover, the company said 800 employees will remain at the company's headquarters at 27777 Inkster Road. As for its eight business centers and four customer service locations, officials said those, along with operations in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, will continue to operate without interruption.

"It's our employees who make the difference and who will drive us into the future," Knauss pointed out. "Their enthusiasm about our future combined with the strong management team we've put in place will drive our innovation to make us the first-choice provider of financial services and keep us sharply focused on delivering results. We can't wait to get started."

Mercedes-Benz Financial Leases New Texas Offices

With Mercedes-Benz now split off from Chrysler Financial, its lease and retail contract portfolio officials will soon be leaving the Westlake offices for those down the road in Alliance, Texas.

Mercedes-Benz Financial said it has leased 75,344 square feet of Hillwood's new 114,710-square-foot Heritage Commons II office building. It is located along the west side of Interstate 35W between Alliance Boulevard and Westport Parkway.

The captive said it will employ about 350 at its new location and plans to be in full residency by January 2008. The building is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

"Alliance was a natural selection for Mercedes-Benz Financial," explained Janet Marzett, vice president of customer service and remarketing. "We have had an excellent relationship with Hillwood at the building we lease in Westlake, which supported the combined group, Chrysler Financial and Mercedes-Benz Financial.

"The location, in proximity to our current employee base, together with the quality environment of Alliance, made our process very easy and keeps our Mercedes-Benz Financial Team together," she continued.

Mercedes-Benz Financial was represented by Wendy Dobreff and Stuart Smith of UGL Equis, while Hillwood was represented in-house by Steve Aldrich, vice president of Hillwood Properties.

"Office development has become an even bigger factor in the growth of Alliance, Texas, primarily due to the quality of the development and the recent residential growth that has given tremendous depth to the labor force in the area," Aldrich explained.

"With increased amenities and services adding a new dimension to the quality of life at Alliance, Texas, Hillwood anticipates the office segment at the development to grow exponentially," he continued.

Smith added, "Mercedes-Benz Financial took a serious look at new generation office space immediately north of the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, but ultimately decided that both current and future employee demographics favor a location in the Alliance corridor," he pointed out.

"Hillwood's timing of construction and competition of Heritage Commons II also fit perfectly with Mercedes-Benz Financial's relocation schedule," he concluded.

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