McLaren, Fisker brand private-label auto finance companies

McLaren, Fisker brand private-label auto finance companies

McLaren and Fisker this month announced they had branded their individual auto finance ventures — private-label programs that resemble captive finance companies but are supported by Chase.

The McLaren Financial Services brand is now in place for the supercar manufacturer’s loans and leases, and an associated website for online payments and statements is live under that name.

“This is the first time we have done this and it is primarily to promote the brand and visibility to our [high-net-worth] customer base and underline our endorsement of the products offered to our customers,” spokesman Roger Ormisher wrote in a July 6 email.

Fisker said on July 7 that it expects Fisker Finance to start originating deals in the fourth quarter, which coincides with the start of production on the electric Ocean, its first vehicle, in November. Fisker on July 1 began taking $5,000 deposits on the limited-edition Ocean One variant of the SUV.

“Fisker is a digital car company, first and foremost, focused on a seamless customer experience at every step,” CEO Henrik Fisker said in a statement. “Providing finance options on our digital platform, including financing factory-installed options, is part of providing our customers with a completely hassle-free experience respectful of their time.”

McLaren in 2021 said that Chase would be its exclusive banking partner for loans and leases. While McLaren already had an official leasing program, which prior to Chase had been administered by Ally, the automaker hadn’t taken a more active role in loans until the Chase deal.

“We are excited to be able to provide both current and new owners with tailored and customer-centric leasing and financing solutions through McLaren Financial Services,” McLaren Americas President Nicolas Brown said in a statement July 5. “This new relationship with Chase will allow even greater options for customers looking to experience the thrill of driving a new McLaren.”

Leasing was expected to be a major focus of the Chase relationship and McLaren’s long-term strategy. The company went from having less than 20 percent of its vehicles leased in 2016 to leasing making up what Brown estimated last year to be 35 to 39 percent of sales.

However, Ormisher said model changeover over the past year and tight supply on entry models such as the McLaren GT have reduced leasing penetration.

“With the introduction of the new McLaren Artura in Q3 we expect it to pick up again a bit but many customers have also made the switch to cash or straight finance due to increased rates,” he wrote.

Fisker in February said it had picked Chase as its official U.S. retail loans partner and would use Santander for financing in Europe. It said it would announce additional partners in other regions.

The automaker said July 7 that Fisker Finance would permit customers to finance not just its vehicles but also factory-installed add-ons and home charging equipment. Fisker does not have franchised dealerships, but customers can apply for Fisker Finance credit and pick their loan structure online or through the Fisker app.

Fisker spokesman Matthew Debord said customers retain the option of arranging their own Ocean financing through third-party lenders instead of using Fisker Finance.

Henrik Fisker said his company also planned to sell traditional auto insurance to its customers online, “as we designed and engineered the Fisker Ocean with affordable premiums in mind.” Debord said Fisker didn’t anticipate allowing those premiums to be financed.

As far as traditional finance and insurance products such as guaranteed asset protection coverage and vehicle service contracts, Debord said Fisker was examining what services its reservation holders would want.

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