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Retailers rush to use BHMF brand

Black Horse Motor Finance has been forced to speed up the introduction of its new approved dealer scheme after an unprecedented level of interest from retailers.

The company, which is investing around £500,000 in the programme, now hopes to get 3000 dealers signed up by the end of the year. A key selling point is the fact that retailers will be able to use the Black Horse brand logo in their advertising material for the first time, for which they pay a quarterly fee of £85 – although this is a voluntary part of the scheme. The rest is free of charge. “We have a powerful brand in Black Horse and our logo has almost universal acceptance with consumers, so we want dealers to exploit that position to help them boost finance penetration,” says Phil Stones, Black Horse managing director. “We are taking our lead from other strong brands like Mars and Coca-Cola and getting ourselves in front of customers.”

The programme has three levels: platinum, gold and silver. The different criteria means that there is a level for every size of retailer, although the platinum rating attracts greater back up support – including the full range of merchandising material. For that, retailers must put through at least five finance cases a month, achieve a 70 per cent take up rate and 60 per cent utilisation of Equips, Black Horse's internet-based approval system. “The problem facing finance companies in recent years has been cost and quality of business,” adds Stones. “This scheme will help us to reduce cost, improve quality and boost business.”

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