Citi Eyes More Partners, Following Honda Revolving Credit Program

Citi Retail Services is still looking for other partners across the powersports industry, following its recent announcement of a long-term agreement with American Honda Motor Corp., said Leslie McNamara, managing director and executive vice president of business and market development at Citi Retail Services.

“We are regularly evaluating new partners and are engaged in conversations with various players across the powersports industry,” McNamara told Powersports Finance. “At the same time, we are pursuing creative ways to help our existing partners increase their sales and build customer loyalty. This is a growing industry, where we offer extensive expertise and ultimately add value for our partners.”

Through the agreement with Honda — inked on July 26 — Citi Retail Services will provide a private-label credit card program to Honda’s powersports dealer network nationwide. Powersports Finance first reported the news of the partnership in May.

Citi has been partnering with former OEM partners of Capital One Financial Corp. — following Capital One’s exit from the powersports space. However, Honda is the first OEM to partner with Citi that was not formerly partnered with Capital One.

“I believe Honda saw the value in being able to offer [revolving credit] financing to its customers,” McNamara said. “Not only can it drive sales for the dealers, it increases customer loyalty. Citi has a long history of working with iconic brands like Honda. We also have deep experience in the dealer-based retail market. The fit was a natural one for Honda.”

Other former Capital One partners, like BRP Inc. teamed up with Citi in January, and Kawasaki Motors Corp. USA announced a multi-year agreement with the revolving credit provider in December of last year. Additionally, Yamaha Motor Corp. USA — which was also one of Capital One’s former partners — launched its own Yamaha Credit Card program through its captive Yamaha Motor Finance Corp. in October of last year.

Polaris Industries Inc. is the only OEM formerly partnered with Capital One that has not announced its plans for a revolving credit program or partnership yet.

There are other powersports players that could spark an interest in Citi’s offering, such as Royal Enfield North America. Back in January, the motorcycle manufacturer’s Vice President of Sales Mike Roark said Royal Enfield was mulling options to establish a first-time buyer program, which could include a revolving credit partnership.

While the length of the long-term arrangement between Citi and Honda is unclear at this time, the average length of Citi’s partnerships span more than 15 years, McNamara said, and “most of our relationships are secured well into the next decade.”

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