By Gareth Vaughan
Nissan is establishing a finance company in New Zealand in a move that may be a blow to Heartland Bank.
And in a separate move ANZ subsidiary UDC Finance announced yesterday that it took over the provision of wholesale and retail financing for motor vehicles - and motorcycles - across Suzuki’s New Zealand network of 80 dealerships last month from Heartland.
Peter Fadeyev, a spokesman for Nissan Motor Company (Australia) Pty Limited, told interest.co.nz Nissan was finalising plans to establish its own financial services company in New Zealand.
"Details about this new company will be shared in a forthcoming announcement," Fadeyev added.
His comments come after Nissan Financial Services New Zealand Pty Limited was registered with the Companies Office on May 3.
Currently finance, lease and insurance products and services are provided through Nissan's New Zealand franchise dealerships by a division of Heartland. However, Heartland is declining to comment on what Nissan's move to set up its own finance company in New Zealand might mean for the country's newest bank.
Asked the same question Fadeyev said; "I envisage I should be able to address this when our official announcement is made."
Heartland, formed through the merger of Marac Finance, CBS Canterbury and the Southern Cross Building Society in January 2011, gained Reserve Bank approval to become a bank last December. The other vehicle brands it provides finance for include Holden and Isuzu.
CEO Jeff Greenslade last year outlined what he called Heartland's "hero product strategy", focusing on small and medium sized businesses, the rural sector and the retail and consumer sectors. The "hero products" are ones where Heartland believes it can be a market leader, Greenslade said, and include motor vehicle financing. This was low risk, targeted the household sector, and performed in a similar way as residential mortgage customers do for the big banks.
According to the Motor Industry Association, Nissan ranked fifth in new passenger car and commercial vehicle registrations last year with 6,379, or 6.33% market share. Suzuki was seventh with 5,429, or 5.39%. And the MIA recently said April new commercial vehicle registrations of 2,235 were the highest April sales since 1982 when 2,754 commercial vehicles were sold, and were a 38% increase on April 2012. The MIA also said year-to-date commercial vehicle registrations are 41% higher than in the equivalent period of last year, with new passenger car sales of 5,908 vehicles in April 8.8% higher than in April 2012.
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