Lidl supermarket chain offers car leasing online in Germany
09 March 2021
Lidl is offering leasing of the Kia Stonic online from €135 per month in Germany, along with a selection of other models. The retail business has joined up with digital-leasing platform Vehiculum and Sixt Leasing to establish the service. This new online leasing offer coincides with the reopening of dealers in Germany on 8 March, albeit conditionally. This gives manufacturers such as Kia a new channel through which to move on excess stock that was unsold during the COVID-19 pandemic, and make way for new models as German customers gradually return to showrooms. Interested parties can find information about the available vehicles, the leasing conditions, and how to proceed on the lidl-autos.de website. This page automatically takes the user to the Vehiculum website, where buyers can select a vehicle and sign a contract with Sixt Leasing. As the vehicles on offer have already been produced, they cannot be configured, but are available to customers at short notice. In addition to the dedicated website, the supermarket chain is also running banner advertisements on its core lidl.de site. Lidl advertises that the ′Lidl-car is back’ Source: lidl.de However, the initiative has caused friction between Kia and its dealer network, reports Automobilwoche. Referring to an internal letter between the manufacturer’s dealer association and its members, the German industry publication wrote that ′the trade was neither informed about the action, nor organisationally and financially involved.’ Building on earlier success This is not the first time that Lidl has presented a digital-leasing offer with Vehiculum. Back in February 2019, the retailer introduced online leasing of the Fiat 500 from €89 per month. The offer was limited to 1,000 vehicles, available exclusively in the Lidl online shop through lidl-autos.de until 30 April. At the time the company said that the offer enabled its customers to lease a car quickly and easily. It claimed to offer ′a fair price’ and ′a completely digital and contemporary ordering process’. Customers could select their desired package, check their creditworthiness, and identify themselves through their home PC to conclude a contract, with the entire process only taking 15 minutes. All the cars offered at the time were sold out within a week, Lidl said. Vehiculum describes itself as ′the world’s first and, so far, only online platform that enables an independent and transparent price overview of leasing offers, including direct conclusion of contracts.’ The Berlin-based startup has grown rapidly through offering online leasing for company cars, but has ′now also opened its offer to private individuals and has already generated transactions worth almost €1 billion since it was founded a good five years ago,’ it claims.