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CDF Aims for Expansion After Wells Fargo Acquisition

  • Natalie Mattila
  • April 20, 2016
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Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) has turned the key and twisted the throttle in powersports after its merge with Wells Fargo & Co., and the floorplan financer now aims for continued expansion into the industry, according to Jeremy Jansen, president of the motorsports group at CDF.

“There are other OEMs and other programs that we are interested in and are talking to,” he told Powersports Finance. “We are always on the lookout for growth.”

While CDF’s priorities did not change after the acquisition, the company will take a “ready, aim, fire” type of approach to the integration of the Wells Fargo banking product, Jansen said.

Wells Fargo acquired GE Capital’s global CDF, North American Vendor Finance, and portions of its Corporate Finance platforms in March, the company previously announced. “We could not be more excited to introduce the banking products that Wells Fargo has to offer all the dealers across CDF,” he said. “Specific to motorsports, you have this business we’ve built for close to 40 years without having a true banking offer to bring to the dealers, and now we do.”

CDF is “growing comfortably ahead of the market, which is a testament to our wonderful OEM relationships,” Jansen said. “Year to date in 2016, I’m seeing liquidations up nicely year over year, which is a good thing. There’s a lot of noise in the marketplace right now with certain parts of the economy, but from what I can see, from dealer to consumer, it’s trending nicely year over year.”

For the powersports industry in general, Jansen does not predict much difference in 2016 versus last year. “If you think about powersports holistically — I think we saw market growth in the low single digits last year. It was clipping along until the second half of the year.”

The motorcycle segment was stable, but the off-road vehicle segment “really slowed down in the second half of last year,” driven in part by softening oil and agriculture markets which created “headwinds that really drug down the overall full year for 2015,” he added.

Overall, the year-over-year results for powersports feels similar to last year, he said. “Many of our partnered OEMs have really exciting stuff coming out in the spring, but we’ll still see headwinds in oil and agriculture that will continue to hold back that segment.”

CDF provided financing to 5,000 dealers nationally, and more than 40,000 dealers and 2,000 manufacturers and distributors globally in 2015.

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