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Comment: Facing up to challenges of a new year

This year has not been without its challenges.

Pressure from direct lenders, increasing interest rates, regulations and legislation from the FSA, Financial Ombudsman Service and CCA and the current credit crunch have all taken their toll.

Earlier this year, we said that the introduction of new products was not going to be enough to stimulate increased growth at the point of sale, so one of our major initiatives was to introduce and pilot a new approach to selling finance – AutoRate Plus.

Expected to have a radical impact on the motor finance industry, AutoRate Plus is aimed at helping dealers claw back F&I income.

As well as this, Black Horse has introduced a number of other initiatives with positive results to help dealers grasp point of sale opportunities:

  • New technology – LetsUConnect (LUC) – launched to give dealers total control over every aspect of their finance business, making accessing and processing information much simpler.

    LUC was awarded four top awards

  • Phase 4 of the Approved Dealer Programme – continued to help accelerate showroom traffic through consumer style advertising and hard hitting finance messages around the showroom

  • Enhanced products – Black Horse PPI, GAP, PCP (ultimate plus) and motor warranty provided dealers with a range of robust and competitively-priced products, specifically developed for the market - offering genuine profit opportunities

  • Finance Direct – an initiative to help dealers increase F&I income, without having to be FSA registered. Black Horse deal directly with customers on the dealer’s behalf while paying commission to dealers on any sales.

    Realistically, 2008 is going to be demanding. But people will always want to buy a car – it’s just down to affordability.

    We need to show customers how competitive we really are, and provide products to make this happen.

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