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Japanese brands top poll

Captive finance companies, representing the top-selling three Japanese brands in the UK, emerge as the dominant performers in providing services to franchised used car retailers, according to a Sewells survey.

Toyota Financial Services in particular, plus Nissan and Honda counterparts, jointly earn top or equal first billing 15 times across 20 ‘sought-after attributes’.

The Toyota success rate extends to being first or joint first across 12 categories.

DaimlerChrysler’s successes relate to providing administrative efficiency from company HQ and user-friendly facilities online, while consistently high scoring across the board earned them the top overall verdict.

BMW FS and Ford Credit scored highest on respective specialist subjects of business users’ assistance and staff training.

Significantly, Sewells’ used car finance house survey – involving 701 franchised retailers – places service and flexibility at the top of the dealers’ wish list.

Price, defined as consumers’ rates, ranks only 13th equal among franchised outlets and sixth equal in a parallel survey conducted among independents.

The generally favourable verdict on captives from franchise holders runs counter to recent FLA intelligence, which cited poor service from captive finance companies.

Welcoming the verdict, Doug Gillies, Toyota FS’s operations director, says: “Our vision statement is to be the most admired sales finance company. We are on the way to achieving that, but we are not complacent.”

The equivalent Sewells’ independent retailer review is virtually a joint Carlyle and Close Motor Finance benefit with only one category, PCPs, taken by a rival, Capital Bank.

Carlyle emerges as the independents’ choice in 16 disciplines but its pre-eminence is in the context of relatively small sample sizes within its operational orbit.

Black Horse attracted much larger numbers of responses and scored consistently high. The marked difference between franchised and independent retailers lies in how they see financing success being achieved.

Franchises place emphasis on call centres to help gain sales and rapidly turn proposals round, while independents seek the expertise of local field personnel.

#AM_ART_SPLIT# Top 20 Attributes Sought by Franchised Retailers

1 Admin efficiency (headquarters)
2 Problem proposals (online)
3 Flexibility on deals
4 HP
5 Response to competition
6 Turnaround speed
7 Turnaround speed (call centres)
8 Admin efficiency (local)
9 System support (online)
10 Problem proposals (call centres)
11 Time recording proposal (call centres)
12 Speed turning around proposals (online)
13 Consumers rates
14 Attitude/expertise operator (call centres)
15 Help with business users
16 Refusal rate
17 Speed of payment
18 User friendly (online)
19 Help marketing finance
20 Staff training

Top 20 Attributes Sought by independent Retailers

1 Response to competition
2 Speed of payment
3 Turnaround speed
4 Admin efficiency (local)
5 Problem proposals (online)
6 Consumer rates
7 System support (online)
8 Refusal rate
9 Flexibility on deals
10 Admin efficiency (headquarters)
11 Frequency rep visits
12 PCP
13 Used Car Finance lease/CH
14 HP
15 Turnaround speed (online)
16 Extended finance periods
17 Attitude/expertise (reps)
18 PPP
19 PPP commission
20 Commission generally

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