BMW’s French financial services arm,
BMW Finance, has bucked the recessionary trend by growing 15
percent last year.
The lessor signed 32,277 new
contracts in 2008, up from around 27,000 the previous year.
Celebrating its 20 years in France,
the captive aims to continue growing its €3.5 billion portfolio
“When looking at resale prices,
France is not as affected as other European countries,” said
Andreas Wolter, managing director of BMW Finance. “We managed an
extremely positive balance sheet last year.”
Last year, due to the economic
turmoil, the German manufacturer BMW had to give up its growth
objectives. The financial services group was also hit by the
crisis. In the third quarter, hit by bad debts and plummeting
residual values, BMW Financial Services Group reported a pre-tax
loss of €17 million.
In France, BMW Finance finances one
third of all BMW sales, and is a key driver for customer retention.
Indeed, although customer retention is already around 50-54 percent
in most European countries, this figure rises to 69 percent when
vehicles are financed.
“Despite real uncertainty on sales
volumes in 2009, we will continue to work with our dealers to offer
finance to customers,” added Wolter. “We can still reinforce our
market penetration rate, even if the market as a whole