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Difficult App Process Equals Deal Breakers for Powersports Dealers

  • Natalie Mattila
  • October 24, 2016
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Pictured, from left, are: Brad Van Horn, Owner, Buy Your Motorcycle; Chris Rice, Regional General Manager, RideNow Powersports; Chris Clovis, Owner & Operator, Freedom EuroCycle Las Vegas; and Joe Becerra, F&I Manager, F&T Motorsports.

LAS VEGAS — The application process for a dealer to sign on to do business with a lender has become “burdensome,” which is not “prohibitively challenging,” but it could cause dealers to do business with the lender’s competitor, said Chris Clovis, owner and operator at Freedom EuroCycle Las Vegas.

If the application process is too “labor intensive,” it’s likely the dealer “will just move onto a competitor that may not have those same requirements, challenges, or paperwork,” added Chris Rice, regional manager at RideNow Powersports.

While there are not as many lenders in the marketplace as dealers would like to see, “there is some competition in the marketplace at least,” for dealers to move onto if the process is too burdensome, Rice told attendees at PowerSports Finance 2016.

For example, EagleRider is a $100 million company, of which, only 10% is owned by a person, “the other 90% — like every other company — is owned by the holding company,” Clovis explained.

What is frustrating for dealers is when a potential lender partner asks the dealer for a Social Security number and signatures from the holding company or silent partner, Clovis said. “That’s a huge red light for me in my current business, as well as my former business at EagleRider,” he said.

Lenders need to identify who the dealer principles are and have them sign the personal guarantees and provide Social Security numbers, Clovis added. “When you have a silent partner in the business, chances are there is a reason there is a silent partner, and that’s because they are a very high-net worth individual. So when you are asking a very high-net worth individual for their Social Security number and personal guarantee, it’s a problem.”

Rather than go “round and round” explaining who the partners, investors, and silent partners are in the business, “we can be more reasonable” with the process, he added. “We also can coalesce the application process a little bit. Every single lender has a different set of requirements, so we might be able to do a better job with consistency in that sense.”

 

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