KTM North America is on the hunt for a leasing partner to offer alternative retail financing options to consumers in order to shorten the buying cycle, said Jon-Erik Burleson, the off-road vehicle manufacturer’s president.
“We are looking at some things that we haven’t in the past,” Tom Etherington, KTM’s vice president of sales, told attendees at PowerSports Finance 2016. “For example, we are very interested in exploring the leasing option. Something that is not really normal or very available on the horizon right now.”
KTM sees leasing as a very valuable lifecycle management tool, Etherington said. “Leasing is not just a way of getting consumers funded, but a way of us understanding where they are in their ownership cycle and where they are in their structure, so that we have the opportunity to come back to them when they are at the right point in their decision-making process to make another purchase.”
The leasing space seems to be focused on subprime or “payment-sensitive customers,” Burleson said, but KTM would like to use leasing as a way of shortening the buying cycle. For example, if a consumer buys a KTM streetbike, they may come back in six years when they are in a more positive equity situation to purchase a different unit or an updated streetbike, Burleson said.
KTM North America is “talking” with a few leasing providers currently, Etherington said. The OEM maintains “great relationships” with its two installment lending partners, FreedomRoad Financial and Synchrony Financial, however, neither offers leasing options currently, he said.
“We could do some labeling or some branding on the leasing program, but we would need another partner to do this,” Burleson said. “This is not our space; our space is knowing dealers and knowing motorcycles. We are conceptualizing what we want the end-consumer experience to be like, but to get there we are going to need a partner to help us, or even two.”
Amherst, Ohio-based KTM North America sold 19,135 vehicles for the half-year ended June 30, up 4,464 vehicles from the same time a year prior, according to the company’s semi-annual report.