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Merchants Bank plans auto financing services
By Sun Min (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-05-28 08:52

China Merchants Bank yesterday signed a co-operative agreement with BMW AG and its joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd to provide comprehensive auto financing services to the dealers and customers associated with the two firms.

According to the agreement, the bank will offer credit loans of up to five years to BMW car buyers and financing arrangements to BMW Group dealers in China.

The co-operation pact will enable BMW to improve customer services, expand dealer networks and increase sales in China, said BMW AG New Markets of Financial Services Division General Manager Michael Brandstetter.

"We are very optimistic about the success of the programme," Brandstetter said at a press conference in Beijing yesterday.

Instead of launching its own auto financing company in China, BMW chose to find a local bank partner after a year of negotiations. Such a partnership, as Brandstetter described, is "the best and easiest way" to develop auto financing in the market.

But he also added that as the market develops further, BMW will continue to seek the best solutions available.

China Merchants Bank Vice-President Li Hao said that the bank would offer one-on-one services to BMW customers from the dealer's showroom onward, with fast loan- granting procedures and 24-hour hotline services.

The partnership also enables resource-sharing between the two sides.

For example, many of the bank's high-end retail clients are potential customers for BMW, while more buyers of the luxurious cars may also ultimately choose to use the bank's services.

Li also dismissed concerns that the tightened credit supply in China would have a major impact on auto loan consumption.

He said the bank is building a credit rating system towards retail auto loan applicants and will apply a scientific flow chart to tighten risk control.

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