SAN FRANCISCO — RCI Bank and Services is testing direct lending in Europe, which the captive hopes to eventually expand into additional markets, Francois Peltier, RCI’s director of open innovation, said at Auto Finance Innovation 2018.
Direct lending is a “huge opportunity,” and RCI Bank and Services is taking it “very seriously,” Peltier told attendees. “We are focusing on new-car sales … but the used-car market is three to four times the size of the new-car market,” he said. “What if we take a used-car customer from [another OEM] through direct lending and then get them to buy a new Nissan, Renault, or Infiniti?”
French bank RCI works in 36 other countries but not the U.S. RCI is an automotive captive, insurance company, and mobility service for the Renault group brands globally and for the Nissan group brands in Europe, Russia, and South America.
So far, direct lending is “working really well” for the company, which is why RCI is “willing to expand that” into other countries, he said. “We are, at this stage, trying to be really customer-centric and diversify our channels in this business.”
Separately, the captive has a subsidiary, called RCI Mobility, which is focused on helping the company develop business-to-business carsharing operations and other mobility-related services. In January 2017, the subsidiary acquired mobility services aggregate Karhoo.
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