Auto Finance Veteran Says There is ‘Room to Grow’ in Powersports Finance

canstockphoto19544344Despite a steady recovery post-recession for the consumer credit industry, the powersports finance industry remains just a fraction of the size of the auto finance industry, said Jeff Young, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Yamaha Motor Finance Corp.

While the automotive SAAR reached 18 million in September, the powersports industry is trending toward just 1.2 million vehicles sold for all of 2015, said Young, during his keynote address at the inaugural PowerSports Finance 2015 conference here.

A “true SAAR comparison,” which excludes fleet sales, would be 13.6 million for autos, he said. Translated into dollars, the “true” SAAR represents about $257 billion for autos, versus $9.2 billion for powersports annually. One of the other “stark” differences between auto finance and powersports finance is the utilization of captive finance, Young said. There is distinctly less captive fi nance share in powersports compared with auto, despite the fact that OEM captives “add value,” he said. “The lending process may be even more important in powersports,” he added.

Other contrasts Young has observed, compared with auto finance, is the difficulty in getting data; the fact that powersports OEMs face more competition in multi-brand dealerships; and the fragmented nature of the powersports finance industry as a whole.

“One of the challenges we face is taking that leap into the void, a willingness to open the kimono, and stepping out of our corporate identity in order to be part of a community,” Young said. “To be more effective back home, we need this time to learn and open up about what we’re doing.”

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