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Powersports Leasing Could Gain Momentum With Right Provider

  • Natalie Mattila
  • November 9, 2016
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Leasing has the opportunity to gain momentum at Adam Smith Harley-Davidson — given the right provider and shortened terms — even though the dealership family only has about one or two lease deals each year, said Neil Noble, partner at Adam Smith Harley-Davidson.

“I think for leasing, in order for it to be attractive in powersports, one of the big captives would have to come out with a program,” Noble told Powersports Finance at AIMExpo 2016 in Orlando. “I think that would help get the momentum up, and I’d love for them to do it.”

Additionally, the monthly cost savings of a lease versus a loan are not “substantial enough” to lure anyone who is not a subprime customer, Noble explained.

The difference between a loan and lease payment is not that different, he said. However, Adam Smith Harley-Davidson customers usually prefer to own the motorcycle rather than lease the asset, he said. “The average lease payment is 48 to 52 months, and if they can buy it at a 60-month term — why would you lease it?”

The dealer group has an agreement in place with MotoLease LLC, its only remaining lease provider since Chrome Capital closed its doors in mid-September.

In the last year, between our now seven dealership locations, we’ve done one or two leases,” Noble said. “The leasing market is tough, because the programs typically work as a last resort for those who can’t get approved elsewhere, but there are other subprime options to handle that.”

Leasing does not provide a solution that is beneficial to the customer, he said. “If we didn’t have a good source of lenders, where we could shop for the best place to put the deal, then maybe leasing would be more attractive than the one or two options that we have. Whether it’s a prime customer or subprime customer, they [lenders] have a solution that is more manageable for the customer.”

However, the dealer group maintains its partnership with MotoLease to provide the option to its consumers, he said. “I think that there are certain customers that would like to lease,” Noble said. “I think that the demand is there, but the product isn’t.”

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