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Urban customers in sights of ACF

ACF Car Finance has made its first move into city centre premises, triggered by the growing demand from credit-impaired used car buyers throughout North West England.

The company's new central Manchester showroom replaces previous premises out to the east of the city.

The 11,000 square foot building sits alongside one of the city's busiest arterial roads near MediaCity UK.

Until now, the firm has generally sited its showrooms in locations on the periphery of cities and towns, close to motorway exits.

Mark Jones, senior manager of operations at ACF Car Finance, says the £100,000 re-location project was a strategic decision based on the widening catchment area for customers.

"We now record a higher number than ever of people willing to travel two hours or more to our Manchester showroom, and many like to combine the visit with a day in the city.

"By positioning ourselves in the centre, we make this a more realistic proposition - and have now become much more accessible to many large conurbations in the North West.

"Unlike many cities, Manchester has fast motorway links virtually right into the centre - so we decided to create a high-profile prestige presence in its heart," added Mr Jones.

Customers of ACF Car Finance, most of which have been refused borrowing by major finance companies, view vehicles after making a successful loan application to ACF's parent, The Funding Corporation.

According to Jones, buyers' certainty that they have been accepted for a loan, often after many previous refusals from other lenders, means they are happy to travel further.

As evidence of the continuing difficulty of obtaining finance without a clean credit history, he said, most customers are now referrals from other motor dealers and financial intermediaries.

Earlier this year, ACF Car Finance announced the opening of its third London satellite showroom near Heathrow, giving the company a presence to the west, north and south of the capital.

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