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Credit crunch can open up new opportunities

Despite poor market conditions in 2007 – pressures from the credit crunch, the demise of Northern Rock and falling house prices – Black Horse remains optimistic about 2008 and the future of the point of sale market.

As direct and traditional lenders start to trim back their finance offers, there will be more opportunities for dealers to regain market share, and offer appropriately priced loans to a wider range of customers. That’s why Black Horse will continue to develop and launch initiatives like AutoRate Plus during 2008.

This new risk-based pricing approach to selling finance is expected to deliver more profit for dealers and offer them the flexibility to submit proposals for all their customers and have more finance deals underwritten.

The credit crunch will continue to have an impact on the availability and choice of finance/credit on the high street. Consumers will no longer be able to take “easy credit” for granted. This may find them looking to other sources.

It is therefore vital that dealers continue to exploit every opportunity to capture consumers’ attention in a creative and visible way at the point of sale. That’s where the Black Horse Approved Dealer Programme can help. Visible, bold finance messages in dealers’ showrooms and Approved Dealers advertising to consumers in regional copies of AutoTrader will help maintain the momentum for dealer finance, keep it at the forefront of customers’ minds and make them aware that this is a viable alternative source of convenient finance.

The challenge in 2008 will be to make sure that customers know how competitive and convenient dealer finance is, and to provide products that are attractive enough to stop them going elsewhere.

Although anticipated to be a challenging year, strong sales in the new car market towards the end of last year, and a widely predicted fall in interest rates in the first half of 2008 must be seen as positive, and should provide dealers with more than a glimmer of hope in the coming year.

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