14 Dec 2020
Startline Motor Finance is on target to exceed its pre-pandemic 2020 growth target with an increase in turnover of 20% compared to last year.
The company says that a number of factors have contributed to this result, from efforts made to meet dealer needs during the coronavirus crisis to the increased relevance of the company’s product range.
CEO Paul Burgess explained: “It looks as though the used car market for 2020 will end up somewhere around a fifth below the previous year, so we’re really very pleased to have hit our pre-existing growth targets given overall trading conditions
“There are two main things that we have got right this year. The first is that, once the pandemic hit and the lockdown got underway, we kept operations moving ready for the reopening and put a lot of effort into ensuring that our systems were right for the new types of trading models that dealers were adopting. That meant that once car sales became possible again, we hit the ground running.
“The second is that the Startline core proposition, of providing finance comparable to prime lenders to around one in four applicants who have previously been refused credit through that kind of channel, turned out to be very much of the moment.
“Certainly, many prime lenders tightened up their criteria as part of their initial response to the market and this simply meant there were increased numbers of people entering our part of the motor finance market. The expertise that we have developed in this sector has become ever more important in the current circumstances.”
Paul added that a large part of Startline’s efforts in 2020 had been directed at meeting the needs of customers whose finances had been hit by the pandemic.
“A specialist team was created within Startline that allowed us to handle this area with maximum sensitivity while also allowing the rest of the company to concentrate on core business. So far, this has worked well.
“It is all about acting responsibly and sensitively when it comes to arriving at the best outcomes for car buyers in this position, following both the FCA’s guidelines but going further in many instances.
“We’ve worked hard in this area to ensure that customers are treated as fairly and sympathetically as possible. It’s about arriving at solutions over time that, as much as we can, minimise the impact on their lives and livelihoods.”