Wednesday, May. 23, 2007, 08:00 PM UPDATED 11:59 AMBy Nick Zulovich
ATLANTA — Manheim Automotive Financial Services recently announced the opening of eight new dealer service centers throughout the U.S. According to officials, all centers will provide the company's range of financial services, in addition to other Manheim products, including Simulcast and OVE.com.
"The new locations are designed to offer dealers more convenient access to MAFS and other Manheim products and services," explained Kathy Decker, vice president and general manager of MAFS.
"Our goal is to bring services closer to our customers in communities where no Manheim presence exists," she continued. "We want to make it as easy as possible for customers to do business with us."
The company opened its first Dealer Service Center in Jacksonville, Fla., last year. Executives said they received "overwhelmingly positive customer back" to the first center, which led them to open more locations in:
—Little Rock, Ark.
—Sioux Falls, S.D.
—Baton Rouge, La.
With the additional facilities now open, MAFS has a total of nine dealer service centers.
MAFS specializes in offering a range of financial services, including inventory financing for independent dealers, wholesalers and rental dealers. Moreover, the company provides insurance services and a receivables funding program.
Along with opening the new facilities, MAFS also recently implemented its first marketing initiative in six years.
Dealers and wholesale representatives should not be surprised if on one of their trips to auction, they spot George Washington, Abraham Lincoln or Andrew Jackson taking up space, boasting about MAFS' services.
"Each president features a different product," said Decker. "They are six-foot, life-size metal stands with sandwich boards on them to help us advertise our products.
For instance, Washington holds a sign that says, "Make Gold Work for You." As for Jackson, his sign reads, "45-Day Special is Ready to Work for You."
Harkening back to the day when Uncle Sam posters were plastered throughout the country, featuring his famous catch-phrase, "I want you," MAFS officials hope their marketing initiative can help capture some of that nostalgia.
"The overall theme of the program is that we want to show the dealers how we can make money work more for them. That's the common theme," said Jeff Bunch, vice president of sales and operations at MAFS.
"This campaign is a commitment by us for the entire year," Bunch highlighted. "We will send constant e-mail follow-ups with customers about the presidents and also send snail mail. We'll feature them in different promotions throughout the year. For example, they will appear again in auctions for July 4, then go away for a little while and come back as the election time draws near."
Each seasonal campaign with the presidents will have a slightly different focus, Bunch continued.
"Basically, we just want to raise awareness and let dealers who use MAFS often know we appreciate their business and let dealers who don't use our services much know what we can do to help. We also want to get the auctions' attention," Decker concluded.
For more information on the company, visit , or call (877) USE-MAFS.