The fourth quarter marked a busy period in powersports for partnerships and new ventures.
Powersports Finance took a look at some of the top deals and company launches in recent months. Here are five notable powersports happenings from last quarter:
“We are always willing to look at new programs,” said Lindsey DeLong, national sales manager at American LandMaster. “They are hungry for new business, and we wanted to provide more than one option.”
Also in September, Dealer Direct added Royal Enfield North America to its OEM network. Dealer Direct works with several other manufacturers, including Argo XTV, Rival Powersports, TrailMaster Go Karts, and golf cart manufacturer Tomberlin ParCar.
Dealer Direct aims to be the “one-stop-shop” for small- to mid-size powersports manufacturers, Powersports Finance previously reported. The lender works with several other manufacturers, including Argo XTV, Rival Powersports, TrailMaster Go Karts, and golf cart manufacturer Tomberlin ParCar.
Kawasaki Motors Corp. USA and Sheffield Financial — the powersports lending arm of BB&T Bank — agreed to a multi-year retail finance agreement, effective immediately. The extended partnership allows Sheffield to provide installment financing to customers of Kawasaki’s 1,100 independent dealers, the OEM announced in a press release Dec. 18.
Sheffield Financial, based in Clemmons, N.C., currently services more than 15,000 powersports, trailer, and outdoor power equipment dealers. The full-spectrum lender specializes in financing off-road vehicles, motorcycles, personal watercraft, and snowmobiles.
“We are excited about our continued financing relationship with Kawasaki and its independent dealers and customers,” Jack Snow, Sheffield Financial’s chief executive, said in the release. “Our [motto] is ‘personal service — it’s that simple’ and it’s the foundation upon which our company is built.”
MotoLease LLC teamed up with mobile app and digital bike-buying platform RumbleOn Inc., the companies announced in early December. RumbleOn allows consumers to buy or finance motorcycles online with a haggle-free price and have them delivered to their homes, according to Founder and Chief Executive Marshall Chesrown.
The model is much like Chesrown’s previous venture Vroom, which he founded in 2014 to disrupt the auto sector. RumbleOn works with more than 10 lenders. Los Angeles-based MotoLease has 1,000 dealers in its 36-state network.
Yamaha Motor Finance Corp. USA announced it is taking its floorplan financing in-house. The new program will be managed and staffed by Yamaha Finance, Jeff Young, the captive’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, said today in a note to Yamaha dealers.
The transition to the new captive from Wells Fargo Commercial Distribution Finance will be gradual and “take us late into next year,” Young said, referencing the captive’s current floorplan partnership with Wells Fargo. “We are informing you now as there are several long-lead transition items that will require your involvement. We will communicate these later this year. Until then, operations will continue to be managed through Wells Fargo — business as usual.”
“CDF and Yamaha will work closely together to ensure a smooth transition for our collective customer base,” Wells Fargo CDF told Powersports Finance in a statement. “Until the transition, it is business as usual.”
The electric motorcycle manufacturer Zero Motorcycles signed with floorplan finance provider Northpoint Commercial Finance in September, Darren McCarthy, vice president of business development, told Powersports Finance.
The partnership will include “customized terms with a dedicated customer support team,” according to a Zero Motorcycles press release, and it will ensure the manufacturer’s dealers have access to “competitive rates and terms” and an inventory management system.
“Zero Motorcycles’ innovative electric platform attracts a new segment of consumers versus those who lean towards standard gasoline motorcycles, increasing a dealer’s potential customer base,” McCarthy said in the release. “With more and more consumers looking to go electric, we think it’s a perfect opportunity to add Zero with their finance solutions and continue to grow their impressive dealership transactions.”
This is not the lender’s first foray into electric motorcycle financing. Back in January, Northpoint partnered with Linhai Powersports USA Corp. — U.S. branch of Jiangsu Linhai Power Machinery Group Corp. –to provide floorplan lending to the company’s line of ATVs, UTVs, gas-powered motorcycles, and electric motorcycles.
Additionally, Northpoint signed several multi-year floorplan financing agreements in 2016, including Argo XTV, Massimo Motor, and CFMoto USA.