General Motors' lossmaking European carmaker Opel expects to boost the proportion of cars sold on financing with the offer of cheaper loans and leasing deals now that it has taken its German banking license back in-house, it said Monday.
Last month the US group's financing subsidiary GM Financial Company Inc launched its new Opel Financial Services brand, having bought back the European and other international operations of its former financial services affiliate Ally Financial, which held the German banking license.
"The launch of Opel Financial Services was a very important step for our brand and for our product offensive. Opel was not always in a position to make the best financing offer. We did not have our own bank, like competitors," Opel's finance chief Michael Lohscheller said at a press conference at Opel's headquarters on Monday.
As part of the $4.2 billion acquisition deal with Ally Financial, which was announced in November last year and partially closed last month, GM Financial has attributed $1.7 billion to its European financing operations, Lohscheller said.
The partial closing of the deal in April gives GM Financial the German banking license and this has given it more favorable refinancing opportunities, Opel said.
As a result, Opel now hopes to raise the proportion of cars sold using financing to above the current level of 40 percent.
In all GM has pledged to invest another 4 billion euros ($5.2 billion) in Opel by the end of 2016 to support new model launches, renewing a commitment to the ailing European brand.
GM's CEO Dan Akerson has said the investment will help it increase market share by funding the development and launch of 23 new models and 13 new engines through 2016.