Sportbike OEM in the Market for Retail Financier

canstockphoto1568025With its wholesale finance captive in place, American sportbike manufacturer EBR Motorcycles is now on the hunt for a retail financier, said Steve Smith, the OEM’s chief executive.

“We are talking with a few folks right now,” he told Powersports Finance. Currently, “a lot of our deals are done through local banks and credit unions.” The manufacturer anticipates having a retail financier in place by the next quarter, he added.

East Troy, Wis.-based EBR Motorcycles, which relaunched in March 2016 after a yearlong hiatus, has 15 dealers; its goal is to reach 40 dealers by yearend.

Prior to pressing pause, EBR Motorcycles had a retail finance partnership with FreedomRoad Financial. “That relationship may come back or we may elect to go with someone else,” Smith said.

Additionally, EBR Motorcycles launched a floorplan financing captive, EBR Motorcycles Floorplan Program, on July 22, after not being able to secure a partner quickly enough to provide inventory financing to dealers, Smith said.

EBR faces a similar situation on the retail finance side, he said. Finding and securing a lender partner “takes time,” he added, which is why the manufacturer — as it continues to vet dealers through the application process and establishes its dealer network — might even consider forming a retail finance captive, Smith said.

“As we grow, anything is possible,” he said. “Right now, we need a good footing and make sure our brand is understood.”

Learn more about the state of the powersports industry at PowerSports Finance 2016, Oct. 5 at Bellagio Las Vegas. For more information, visit, or click here to register.

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