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Finance round-up

Fall in defaults
Southern Finance believes a fall in payment defaults and vehicle repossessions over the past year is because of its commitment to manual underwriting, says managing director Miles Roberts. “These skills are coming to the fore in protecting our business,” he said. “They are also enabling us to lend to consumers who appear to be rejected by many direct consumer lenders and major finance houses.”

Rights issues backed
Royal Bank of Scotland says shareholders have agreed to buy 95% of the shares offered in a £12 billion rights issue. The bank, which announced a £5.9 billion write-down in April, adds that its results for the first six months of 2008 should be “satisfactory”. RBS releases its interim results on August 8.

Inflation proof
Service plan provider Emac is urging franchised dealers to demonstrate the value they can offer customers by selling inflation-proof programmes. Angela Barrow, sales and marketing director, said: “Increasing numbers of aftersales teams are seeing the value of service plans, keeping workshops busy and helping long-term retention.”

Extra incentives
Dealers should use “plummeting” new car sales to promote additional incentives because more people will be driving vehicles after manufacturer cover has expired, says Simon Tennyson, managing director of AA Warranty. “Protection for new and used cars puts customers’ minds at rest and provides additional income for dealers,” he added.

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