In a further expansion of its vehicle financing operations Marac Finance has struck a deal with Holden New Zealand granting it exclusive rights to provide Holden branded finance and insurance.
(Update adds further detail).
The deal comes after Marac, a subsidiary of Pyne Gould Corporation, bought GMAC NZ's retail motor vehicle book for NZ$70 million in July. GMAC was the previous provider of branded finance to the Holden dealer network. The deal gives Marac the rights to promote Holden Financial Services, Holden Finance and Holden Insurance.
Chris Flood, general manager of MARAC’s personal finance business, said the deal would provide a "significant" opportunity for Marac to increase its share of the vehicle finance market.
Holden is the country's third biggest motor vehicle distributor with 33 dealers. Holden also distributes Isuzu trucks, New Zealand’s biggest selling truck brand with 10 dealers. The dealer networks will promote the finance and insurance products.
Marac has similar deals with Nissan and Suzuki, having picked up the latter when GE pulled out of car financing about two years ago. Marac also provides Kiwibank's vehicle finance and struck a joint venture with the Automobile Association (AA), in April, which saw the AA buy a 50% stake in Marac Insurance.
Flood said despite the likes of GE, GMAC, Ford Motor Credit and Provincial Finance pulling out of car financing in recent years, Marac still faced several competitors in the franchise space such as Toyota Finance, BMW Finance, UDC Finance, DaimlerChrysler Finance - with the Mercedes and Mitsubishi brands - and Motor Trade Finance.
Separately, Marac is in talks with the Southern Cross Building Society and Canterbury Building Society centred on creating a so-called "Heartland Bank." The plans envisage a NZX-listed bank headquartered in Christchurch that would aim to double its NZ$2.2 billion asset base within five years through growing family, small business and agricultural business.
Marac’s chief executive Jeff Greenslade said the Holden deal aligned with Marac's strategic direction to become a bank through the proposed merger.