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Proton to finance risky buyers

Proton has launched a sub-prime finance offer which it hopes dealers will use to boost business across all their franchises.

Onestop-Autofinance, developed by Proton Finance managing director John Hayes, is designed to source finance from a panel of direct lenders for low and medium risk customers.

The scheme, which covers cars up to six years old, works with dealers to find a solution.

Mr Hayes said: “Direct lenders are getting more choosy as their margins get squeezed by new entrants, which means the market for sub-prime will grow.

“Many of our dealers are getting customers that are not quite making the finance credit rating, so we set up Onestop to handle the rejections and help them keep the business.”

Proton has a high proportion of multi-franchised sites in its 112-strong network and is encouraging dealers to use the scheme to boost business for their other marques.

“We told them they can use Onestop for all their franchises and several have taken up this offer,” said Mr Hayes.

He recognised that, for some dealers, selling sub-prime involved a culture change.

“Many dealers have not bothered with it in the past. They have to understand that it takes longer to get a result – usually up to 48 hours – and requires more information from the customer, so dealers need to work harder to get the business,” he said.

“But we are confident they will get a positive result on 50-65% of cases that would otherwise have been rejected.”

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