“They simply go to their dealership and say I can afford £500 a month, what can you offer me,” he says.
Munk's boss, BMW Group director of financial services Guenter Niedernhuber, agrees: “It makes sense to me for people to finance their cars. Why would they want to invest in something that depreciates?” he asks. “Buying cars on finance and giving them back at the end of the contract protects residual values. It's the future.”
BMW's view is not new, but it is the first time a premium carmaker, which relies on the emotional purchase, has openly predicted that traditional methods of ownership will not continue.
In 1999 consultant Michael Jackson told Automotive Management that cars would become 'white goods' commodities and that people would lease them on short-term contracts to fit in with their lifestyles.