Claire Hack

The UK arm of BMW Financial
Services (BMW FS) has reported a solid performance for the first
quarter of 2010, Leasing Life has learned.

Year-on-year, the first quarter of
2010 saw a rise of 16% in the number of finance applications
processed by the business, including cars, motorbikes, Mini and
Rolls Royce and both used and new vehicles.

Also, volumes in March 2010 were
18% higher than during the equivalent month in 2009.

The company attributed the success
to the continuing trend of relatively high interest rates among
high street lenders on personal loans.

Loans are now harder to obtain, BMW
FS said, and have become a “less attractive option” to potential
car buyers.

It also highlighted the smaller
presence of other car finance providers, as companies reduce their
business or withdraw from the market altogether.

This has meant that customers have
fewer places to turn and have therefore become more likely to use



The company also said the demand
for the personal contract purchase (PCP) product has increased this

Indeed, BMW Select, the company’s
PCP offering, is its most successful product, making up more than
60% of business.

Its recently launched insured
warranty offering has also been successful, the company said.

BMW FS general marketing manager
Joe Pattinson said: “We have worked closely with BMW UK to ensure
that there have been some very competitive offers in the market for
new customers and existing customers buying another BMW or

“We have also ensured we have set
competitive and realistic guaranteed future values which will
benefit BMW owners in the future.

“Used cars have been selling very
well this quarter too which has helped increase our business

BMW FS also recently appointed
Christian Kalinke as UK chief executive, taking over from Keith Dye
on a temporary basis.

Dye returned to his home in South
Africa, having been at the helm of the UK operation for
four-and-a-half years.

Kalinke’s role came into effect
from 1 March, and he is to oversee the UK financial services
operation until a permanent replacement for Dye can be found.



A number of new initiatives have
also been launched, including an ‘online finance calculator’ for
used cars, allowing customers to view quotes on used vehicles. They
can adjust term, mileage and deposit to find out what the car would
cost on a PCP or hire purchase agreement.

The company, which continues to
work only with dealerships, will also be offering a 20 percent
insurance discount via its website in May.

Insurance products include car,
home, travel, shortfall, income protection, insured emergency
service and insured warranty.

BMW has also recently extended its
insured warranty services, allowing all BMW owners to take up

They will be offered three levels of cover to guard against the
cost of repairs and replacement parts.

See also: BMW FS – key facts