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Slump hits BMW fin services

autos Updated: Feb 20, 2011 22:02 IST
Sumant Banerji
Sumant Banerji
Hindustan Times
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BMW Financial services, the car finance arm of the German luxury car maker, has said it lost three years due to the recession that started in 2008 as it battled rising defaults and sliding demand.

The firm that started its operations in India in October in 2010 and almost simultaneously in China, now expects the two ventures to pull it out of the rut.

"Last year, we rebounded well after two very challenging years in 2008 and 2009 but even now we are not back to the levels we were before the recession in 2007," said Erich Ebner von Eschenbach, CEO, financial services, BMW AG. "So, we lost three years due to the global recession but we are back on track now."

Due to the close corelation of the two businesses, the fortunes of the financial services is linked to that of the car manufacturing business. BMW financial services, which is present in 60 countries, offers retail finance for bulk of the near 1.4-million cars that BMW sold worldwide.

But does an independent finance arm mean lower rate of interest for a prospective BMW customer in India? Not exactly.

"Financial services is not only about interest rates. We offer tailor-made options for the customer. Finance and insurance will be available at the dealership and one does not need to scamper around to the bank," he said.

"Wherever BMW financial services is present, BMW car division has benefited," said Andreas Schaaf, president, BMW India.