VW Credit Inc. plans to make an equity investment in AutoGravity Corp., which has developed a car shopping and financing mobile app and Web platform, the captive auto lender said last week. The investment, which is pending regulatory approval, aligns with VW Credit's goal to create a digital experience for its customers, according to a statement.
The investment amounts to $30 million, said a person familiar with the deal.
With AutoGravity, customers can shop for a car, select a nearby dealership that has the vehicle, choose from up to four finance or lease offers and get preapproved. The dealership receives a fee on the financing, and customers finalize the transaction at the dealership, where they can buy finance and insurance products and take delivery of the vehicle.
VW Credit has also worked with the company on an AutoGravity-powered, VW Credit-branded mobile app and Web platform for Volkswagen and Audi customers in the U.S. Vehicle financing options are also available on the AutoGravity platform, the statement said.
AutoGravity has partnered with more than 20 auto lenders, including Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, First Investors Financial Services and Westlake Financial Services. It launched a pilot of its app and Web platform in California about a year ago. Since then, the app has become available in 49 states and has reached nearly 500,000 downloads.
In February, Daimler announced an investment in the double-digit millions of euros in AutoGravity, of Irvine, Calif.
AutoGravity CEO Andy Hinrichs has held executive positions at Daimler Financial Services Africa, Asia-Pacific, Daimler Financial Services Americas and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA.
VW Credit, of Herndon, Va., is the financial arm of Volkswagen Group of America.