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GE Capital Sees Growth in Canadian RV Market

August 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

GE Capital logoGE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) business sees positive trends in the Canadian motorsports and recreational vehicle industries through the first half of the year, while the marine industry is experiencing a slight slowdown after last year’s accelerated growth.

“Weather once again has had an impact on the recreational industries in Canada, but the RV and motorsports industries are experiencing healthy growth,” said Howard Shiebler, president of CDF in Canada. “We are seeing marine dealers proactively adjusting their ordering patterns to maintain a healthy level of inventory.”

As a leading inventory financing provider to the Canadian recreational products market, CDF periodically provides market intelligence that may help companies throughout the supply chain manage their businesses.

Recreational vehicles

A revitalized customer base continues to benefit the RV industry, which is evident in a double-digit increase in wholesale volume financed by CDF through the first half of the year. Ontario and the Atlantic provinces helped drive the 13% increase nationally, while Quebec’s slower growth is in concert with the province’s marginal GDP growth.

The aging rate has stayed flat at 16%, with the highest rates in Quebec and in the Maritimes.

“The RV industry is solid in Canada, and dealers have done an excellent job of managing their inventory,” said Shiebler. “With RV demand higher than we have seen since before the downturn, we expect this positive trend to continue through the rest of the year.”

For the full report click here.

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GE Capital is Platinum Partner for RVDA Confab

April 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

image003The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) announced that GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) is a Platinum Partner of the 2014 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, Nov. 10–14 at Bally’s on the Las Vegas Strip for the 11th consecutive year. The convention is sponsored by RVDA, RVDA of Canada and the Mike Molino RV Learning Center.

“The ongoing support of GE Capital and our other partners enables RVDA and the RV Learning Center to keep pace with dealers’ continuing education needs,” said RVDA Convention/Expo Committee Chairman John McCluskey of Florida Outdoors RV Center in Stuart, Fla. “GE has continued to stand behind its dealer business partners over the long haul and we are grateful for that unwavering support.”

“We continue to sponsor the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo because of the excellent educational opportunities for dealers,” said Tim Hyland, president of the RV Group at CDF. “The RV industry is thriving, and providing dealers with access to relevant and timely business knowledge will help to keep the industry strong.”

CDF has supported the RV industry with flexible inventory financing products for more than 30 years. Inventory financing, also known as floorplan financing, allows dealers to stock, market and sell a wide variety of products from RV manufacturers. It provides manufacturers and their dealer customers with a robust array of performance statistics, which are available via CDF’s proprietary online business intelligence tools.

The conference remains affordable with an advance registration rate of $599 for members and a lower rate of $499 for additional registrants from the same dealership. RVDA also offers special registration payment plans, including an easy-pay plan of three payments and the ability to lock in early bird savings for additional employees with one paid convention registration.

Themed “Passport to Excellence: Education & Training,” the convention will provide relevant learning opportunities for dealers and key members of their staff. Workshop tracks are in place for dealer/GMs, sales staff, parts and service managers, and rental professionals. New this year, is a marketing track focusing on social and digital outlets. Vendor Training +plus will return for its second year, to provide extended training during the first day and a half of the convention and it is included in the regular registration fee.

The 2014 convention will also feature an exhibit hall filled with the RV industry’s top companies offering products and services to help dealers improve profitability.

Companies interested in partnership opportunities, sponsorships and exhibitor information can contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130, ext.103 or send an e-mail to jnewhouse@rvda.org.

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VIDEO 1: GE Capital’s Hyland Upbeat on Industry

March 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

This week’s segment of “RV Capital Talk” features an in interview with Tim Hyland, president of GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) RV Group, discussing a recent survey showing overall optimism in the industry as dealers are increasing their inventory levels this year in anticipation of a strong selling season. To view the video scroll to the right side of the RVBUSINESS.com home page.

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GE Capital: Retailers See Strong Selling Season

March 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Dealers of recreational vehicles are increasing their inventory levels this year in anticipation of a strong selling season, according to GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) business, a leading provider of financing to the industry. That comes on the heels of a very positive 2013, when total wholesale shipments exceeded that of the prior year by more than 12%.

“Dealers are increasing their orders over last year’s levels, indicating continued confidence when it comes to consumer demand,” said Tim Hyland, president of CDF’s RV group. “Despite the distractions of politics, weather and healthcare in 2013, the RV industry surged ahead. We expect growth to continue through the spring and summer of 2014, even though some of these headwinds remain.”

CDF tracks trends in the RV industry related to inventory finance through its network of independent dealers, then reports on those trends to create awareness and understanding of market dynamics.

One measure to watch is inventory turn, which remained well above a healthy rate of 2.0X through year-end. The turn ratio reflects the number of times a dealer’s inventory is sold and replaced over a period of time, typically annually.

Aging, the ratio of financed inventory less than a year old to the amount of inventory greater than a year old, is also an indication of dealer health. RV aging has steadily declined over the past two years and remains under 10%, indicative of a healthy portfolio in aggregate.

CDF has supported the RV industry with flexible inventory financing products for more than 30 years. Inventory financing, also known as floorplan financing, allows dealers to stock, market and sell a wide variety of products from RV manufacturers. It provides manufacturers and their dealer customers with a robust array of performance statistics, which are available via CDF’s proprietary online business intelligence tools.

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GE Capital Poll: Boat Industry Optimistic for ’14

February 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

More than half (54.7%) of marine industry participants expect sales to increase 5% to 10% this year, according to survey results released today (Feb. 28) by GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF). That’s up from the 43% who expected growth in that range last year.

That sentiment tracks closely with CDF’s forecast of 8% growth for the U.S. marine industry in 2014.

“Our theme for our annual industry conference this year is ‘Riding a Wave of Optimism’ and that really reflects our outlook,” said Bruce Van Wagoner, president of CDF’s marine group, a leading provider of financing to marine dealers. “We see a stronger industry that’s poised for growth.”

This comes in spite of lingering worries about consumer demand, which is the top concern of 64.6% of survey respondents, up from 42% in 2013. The second-greatest concern was product affordability at 12.5%.

“Although consumer sentiment is still mixed, consumption rose for 16 consecutive quarters,” noted Rob Podorefsky, managing director of GE Capital’s Interest Rate Management Group. “The labor market is slowly improving, which could create some more opportunity, and inflation is subdued right now. Steadier gasoline prices should help the U.S. economy — and the marine industry — too.”

The industry has a positive outlook when it comes to product availability, according to 37.1% of survey respondents. It’s excited about new model and product introductions, according to 34.7% of respondents, and more “base” or lower-cost models, according to 31.6%.

To view the full release click here.

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GE Capital Poll: Industry Expects Growth in 2014

December 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The popularity of recreational vehicles grew significantly in 2013, leading RV dealers to look hopefully toward the new year, according to survey results released by GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) business.

According to a press releas, one-third of survey respondents said they expect sales to rise 10% to 15% next year, and an additional 37% expect RV sales to grow 5% to 10%. No respondents expect declining sales in 2014.

“The overall mood of the industry is upbeat,” said Tim Hyland, president of CDF’s RV group. “Industry shipments are up nearly 13% this year and retail registrations are keeping pace. Sales of towable units have nearly recovered to pre-crisis levels and motorized units are improving nicely. CDF’s increase in wholesale financing volume year-over-year is consistent with these trends as well.”

Respondents predicted that consumers will continue to favor travel trailers (50%), followed by motorhomes (31%) and fifth-wheel trailers (17%). This shows more variety in demand from last year, when travel trailers were predicted by 70% to be consumers’ first choice.

“Sales of motorized units continue to grow as the economy improves,” said Hyland. “This is very encouraging for the industry as consumers are investing in units with higher price points and re-committing to the RV lifestyle.”

The most common business concern in the RV industry is consumer demand, cited by 27% of respondents. The next concern is the availability/stability of retail finance options, selected by 19%.

The RV industry survey of 130 respondents was conducted Dec. 3-5 during the annual Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky. Two-thirds of the respondents were dealers and 26% were manufacturers.

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Report: GE Set to Spin Off Retail Financing Arm

September 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

General Electric Co. is preparing to spin off one of its most important financial assets — the unit that issues store credit cards for 55 million Americans — as it retreats from one of the high-growth businesses that defined the modern conglomerate.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, the decision to divest the business, amid concerns about the company’s exposure to banking, marks an important moment in the evolution of GE and the country’s three-decade long consumer credit boom. GE Capital expanded to the point that its portfolio of loans and other assets now would rank it as the country’s fifth-largest commercial bank.

Preliminary work to separate the business through an initial public offering is under way, according to people familiar with the matter.

GE has said the U.S. consumer-finance business earned $2.2 billion last year. The operation accounts for about $50 billion of the $274 billion in loans outstanding by GE Capital.

An IPO could come early next year, the people said. Bankers from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are working on a possible offering, one of the people said. Alternatives including smaller spinoffs or asset sales are under consideration, the people said.

A sale of the unit would be quicker and more straightforward, but a buyer for the entire operation is unlikely to emerge given its large size and the fact regulatory hurdles largely prevent major banks from doing big deals.

 

 

 

 

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GE Capital Sees Growth in Canadian RV Industry

August 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) business said it has seen positive trends in the Canadian RV, marine and motorsports industries through the first half of the year. It expects favorable conditions to continue into 2014.

According to a press release, CDF found that dealers’ inventory orders were up in all three categories. Aging of inventory has dropped in motorsports and marine, while staying flat year-over-year in RVs.

“Cool weather in May and June resulted in a late start to the already short Canadian selling season but, surprisingly, liquidations are only slightly below last year’s levels,” said Howard Shiebler, president and CEO of CDF in Canada. “Overall, the macro-economic environment has stabilized and the Canadian economy continues to respond favorably.”

As a result of its longstanding position as a leading inventory financing provider to Canadian manufacturers and distributors and their dealers, CDF periodically provides market intelligence that may help companies throughout the supply chain manage their businesses.

Recreational vehicles

The RV industry’s nine percent increase in wholesale volume shows that dealers are effectively selling through any product they had remaining in inventory from 2012. It also reflects continued strong consumer demand.

So far this year, these growth figures are being driven by the Western provinces, while Ontario and Quebec remain slower markets.

“The country’s inventory aging past the one-year mark has stayed flat year-over-year but we view it as an acceptable level,” noted Shiebler. “Of course, we actively monitor the Canadian market and work collaboratively with our customers to mitigate situations where the levels become a concern.”

Marine

A 17% increase over last year’s marine industry volume is within striking distance of pre-downturn figures nationwide. There has been considerable growth year-over-year in the prairies and in the Atlantic region, although Ontario and Quebec still account for the most volume by province.

“We saw a lot of excitement at last year’s boat shows,” Shiebler noted. “Canadian marine dealers continued to fill orders from those shows into the first half of this year.”

This strong performance can be seen in inventory aging levels, as well; the national level of inventory aged one year or more has decreased to nearly 16% from just below 19% in 2012.

Motorsports

A 6% increase in wholesale shipments of motorsports products through the first half of 2013 was driven largely by the Atlantic region and the west, up 18% and 11% respectively. Quebec increased by 5%, while Ontario and the prairies both showed decreases of 1%.

The national level of inventory over one year old has decreased to about 12.5% from last year’s already healthy rate of 15.5%.

“We know that weather conditions can have an extraordinary impact on dealers so we’re working with those who’ve been impacted by the severe flooding in southern Alberta,” Shiebler said. “We want to do our part to foster a strong Canadian motorsports industry.”

 

 

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GE CFO Keith Sherin to Oversee Financial Arm

June 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

General Electric Corp. is shuffling some of its top finance executives, according to an Associated Press report.

The company announced Wednesday (June 12) that CFO and vice chairman Keith Sherin will run GE Capital, the company’s finance division, effective July 1.

Jeff Bornstein, GE Capital’s CFO, will take over Sherin’s role as CFO of the larger corporation.

The move was prompted by the retirement of the current head of GE Capital, Mike Neal, who will stay on as vice chairman of the company until the end of the year.

Sherin, 54, has been GE’s CFO for 14 years. He will take over a division that generates enormous profits for GE. But the division faltered badly during the financial crisis. Since then, GE has been working to shrink and simplify the division.

Separated from GE, GE Capital would be among the nation’s biggest banks, with $538 billion in assets. It offers financing to customers who buy GE products, issues credit cards that retailers offer customers, and extends commercial loans.

The company says it is trying to reduce what it calls GE Capital’s “ending net investment” to a range of between $300 billion and $350 billion by the end of next year, down from $400 billion now.

Bornstein, 47, has been CFO of GE Capital since 2008 and helped steer the division to firmer ground after the financial crisis.

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GE Capital a Platinum Partner for RVDA Confab

June 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) announced that GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF), is a Platinum Partner of the 2013 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, Sept. 30–Oct. 4, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

According to a press release, the convention is sponsored by RVDA, RVDA of Canada and the RV Learning Center.

“The support of GE Capital and our other partners allows RVDA and the RV Learning Center to meet dealers’ continuing education needs at this important event,” said RVDA Convention/Expo Committee Chairman John McCluskey of Florida Outdoors RV Center in Stuart. “GE has continued to stand behind its dealer business partners over the long haul and we are grateful for that unwavering support.”

GE Capital provided nearly $31 billion in financing for more than 40,000 manufacturers, dealers and distributors across North America in 2012. Programs include inventory and accounts receivable financing, asset-based lending, private label financing, collateral management and related financial products. Customers have access to exclusive online tools and analytics to manage their accounts and inventory. For more information, visit http://www.gecdf.com/.

“The RV Dealers International Convention/Expo provides great opportunity and value for dealers, which is why we are proud to be a sponsor for the 10th consecutive year,” said Tim Hyland, president of the RV Group at GE Capital. “As a lender to the RV industry for more than 30 years, we remain committed to seeing the industry thrive, and we look forward to seeing our customers at the expo.”

The conference remains affordable with an advance registration rate of $549 for members and a lower rate of $449 for additional registrants from the same dealership. RVDA also offers special registration payment plans, including an easy-pay plan of four payments and the ability to lock in early bird savings for additional employees with one paid convention registration.

Themed “Education: Your Competitive Advantage,” the convention will provide relevant learning opportunities for dealers and key members of their staff. Workshop tracks are in place for dealer/GMs, sales staff, parts and service managers, and finance and insurance professionals. New this year, Vendor Training +plus will allow registrants the opportunity for extended training during the first day and a half of the convention and it is included in the regular registration fee.

The 2013 convention will also feature an exhibit hall filled with the RV industry’s top companies offering products and services to help dealers improve profitability.

Companies interested in partnership opportunities, sponsorships, and exhibitor information can contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130, ext 103 or send an e-mail to jnewhouse@rvda.org.

Visit www.rvda.org and www.rvlearningcenter.com to register for the convention and for regular updates. You can also get convention updates on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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