Hyundai Motor Finance Corp. Uses Cautious Approach

Don't expect rampant trailblazing from Hyundai Motor Finance Corp. Instead, the captive auto-financing arm of South Korean auto maker Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd. prefers a more conservative style, says its executive director of strategic planning and risk, Glenn Gottfried. Do you want to make a big splash in the pool or take a tip-toe approach? he says. We picked the latter. Consequently, Hyundai Motor

Don't expect rampant trailblazing from Hyundai Motor Finance Corp.

Instead, the captive auto-financing arm of South Korean auto maker Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd. prefers a more conservative style, says its executive director of strategic planning and risk, Glenn Gottfried.

“Do you want to make a big splash in the pool or take a tip-toe approach?” he says. “We picked the latter.”

Consequently, Hyundai Motor Finance would pass on acquiring a company in the course of launching a new business initiative. Instead, Gottfried says his firm would go about it by forming a joint venture with a vendor.

“That's a minimal risk and investment for us,” he says at a recent Auto Finance Summit in Las Vegas. “We prefer a phase-in approach where we can assess progress at each point. It has worked well for us. New products can take a lot of time with a learning curve.”

The firm has carefully added a variety of products intended to enhance profitability for dealers and Hyundai, he says.

In addition to existing offerings such as dealer floor-plan financing and consumer lending, additional insurance products and a Hyundai credit card are “in the exploratory stages.”

One reason for the slow-go approach is that, as a relatively new company, Hyundai Motor Finance “doesn't have the relationship with dealers that some 40- to 45-year-old captives have,” Gottfried says.

It is important to “be clear on what your objectives are,” he says, as well as to understand the goals of the parent company.

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