Jeff Wieand tells of turbulent times for Business Jet lessors

These are currently hard times for business jet manufacturers. Rumors circulate of “white tails” (unsold completed jets) secreted away in locked hangars by manufacturers trying to maintain an atmosphere of healthy demand and business as usual.

Jeff Wieand tells of turbulent times for Business Jet lessors

Feb 08, 2017

These are currently hard times for business jet manufacturers. Rumors circulate of “white tails” (unsold completed jets) secreted away in locked hangars by manufacturers trying to maintain an atmosphere of healthy demand and business as usual.

Global aircraft leasing growing on low rates and rising air traffic

Aircraft lessors around the world continue to benefit from increased air travel, strong airline profitability, low interest rates and generally accessible funding markets. Fitch Ratings' latest Aircraft Leasing Sector Review reports, however, these variables are cyclical in nature or prone to temporary disruption, limiting the potential for accompanying positive rating actions.

Global aircraft leasing growing on low rates and rising air traffic

Sep 26, 2016

Aircraft lessors around the world continue to benefit from increased air travel, strong airline profitability, low interest rates and generally accessible funding markets. Fitch Ratings' latest Aircraft Leasing Sector Review reports, however, these variables are cyclical in nature or prone to temporary disruption, limiting the potential for accompanying positive rating actions.

News in brief

Equipment leasing market drags

May 24, 2017

Confidence in the equipment finance market continues to drop as the year progresses amid uncertainty about tax and healthcare reforms. The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation has released monthly data which suggests there is a need for clarity on these key issues as part of President Donald Trump’s presidency. The foundation’s May 2017 monthly confidence index for the equipment finance industry, based on its regular survey of leading executives, currently stands at 63.2, down from the April index of 65.8. Business leaders were asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months and 22.6% said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, a decrease from 36.7% in April. The proportion of respondents expecting demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures to rise over the next four months stands at 38.7%, a decrease from 40% in April. The number who believe demand will decline has doubled from 3.3% in April to 6.5% currently. Frank Campagna, group vice president, line of business manager, M&T Bank Commercial Equipment Finance, said: “We saw a definitive change in client attitude regarding capex spending in the past 30 days resulting in pipeline declines for both tax and non-tax financing. “We believe that this is fueled by a very uncertain political climate. The financing industry is thus impacted by the fact that most institutions have high capital levels with a need to invest it, leading to lower return on equity and higher risk profiles as a result of chasing too few opportunities in the marketplace.”

Industry veteran signs with Westlake FS

May 24, 2017

Westlake Financial Services has brought industry veteran Bill Jensen on board to focus on developing its strategic accounts division. The company is an internet based, privately-owned finance company that specializes in the acquisition and servicing of prime to sub-prime automotive retail installment contracts. Jensen said: “Westlake’s relationships with strategic accounts are crucial to continued growth primarily because these accounts consist of the largest and most growth-orientated dealer groups in the US. “Westlake Financial is a strong competitor in the industry, successfully serving both franchise and independent dealers nationwide through its integration of technology and constant innovation.” Jensen said he looks to leverage his extensive background in indirect auto lending from JP Morgan Chase, Mazda and Bank of America to expand Westlake in this segment. At JP Morgan Chase, Jensen became national retail lending credit executive in 2012 and was responsible for Chase Auto Finance Credit originations, booking and funding provided to over 17,000 auto dealerships nationwide. In 2014, he was appointed senior credit executive and was responsible for major credit origination process and control improvement projects until his retirement in 2016.Ian Anderson, group president of Westlake Financial Services, said: “Bill brings over 45 years of experience to this role. “His knowledge will provide us even deeper insight into the needs and interests of these unique groups. “We are dedicated to solidifying our position as the selected indirect lender for strategic accounts nationwide and we are confident that Bill will heavily contribute to this initiative.” Econtracting Separately, Westlake announced it has launched its electronic contracting automotive loan origination solution in 17 US states through DealerCenter. The move is designed to enhance the auto lender’s customer service to both its borrowers and dealer-partners, while continuing to improve the company’s loan acquisitions processes. The solution will be available nationwide by the end of 2017. Casey Harmon, Westlake’s senior vice president of corporate development, said: “Our two most important customer groups are dealerships and car-buyers, and with electronic contracting we can serve them both better. “The DealerCenter eContracting solution is a more efficient, accurate process for our dealer network, and we think customers will enjoy the simplicity.” Westlake partnered with eOriginal, pairing that company’s eAsset Management technology with DealerCenter, a leading dealership management system and loan submission platform for independent dealers in the US. The solution allows both independent and franchise dealers to sign contracts electronically, upload supporting documentations, and instantaneously push all information to Westlake as soon as the loan package is complete. Harmon added: “It lets our dealers connect through DealerCenter to our underwriting systems. “This seamless transfer of contract data drastically reduces the time it takes to receive a complete funding package, and allows our acquisitions team to start working deals faster. Several dealers have experienced same-day funding through Westlake’s eContracting solution.” To date, Westlake has funded almost 6,000 electronic contracts using the solution. On average, these eContracts have funded a half-day faster than traditional deals.

Uber moves into freight market

May 24, 2017

Uber has entered the freight transport market with an app called Uber Freight that matches trucking companies with loads to haul. Vetted users download the app, search for a load, and simply tap to book it. Uber sends a rate confirmation within seconds, eliminating a common anxiety in trucking about whether or not the load is really confirmed. On top of that, Uber says it aims to deliver prompt payments. When trucking companies get paid, they typically have to wait 30 days or longer, which can prove challenging for a small business. There are also instances where drivers are kept waiting more than 10 hours to get loaded without compensation. Uber Freight is committed to paying within a few days, fee-free, for every single load. The company says it plans to pay what it calls “accessorial” rates for situations where things fail to go as planned or drivers have to wait longer than expected. These will kick in once the driver is using the app and progress can be tracked via GPS. In a statement announcing the launch of Uber Freight, the company said: “We fundamentally believe that by focusing on drivers’ pain points we can solve the industry’s biggest challenges. Happy drivers means happy shippers, and ultimately everyone benefits, including the end consumers of the goods.”

Ally partners with online used car marketplace

May 24, 2017

Ally, a leading digital financial services company, is to offer auto finance and insurance products for vehicles purchased through TRED, an online used vehicle marketplace and licensed dealership. TRED, which launched in 2012, is designed to save car buyers and sellers money by connecting them directly to each other. Sellers control the selling price while TRED takes care of marketing and transacting their car (and facilitating loan repayment if they have one). Buyers are offered assurances of quality such as a CarFax vehicle history, a 150-point buyer's inspection, a first-in-class online financing platform, vehicle service contracts and guaranteed asset protection (GAP) coverage. Ally began accepting financing applications through TRED in April, and will begin offering vehicle service contracts and GAP coverage this summer. Doug Timmerman, president of Ally Insurance, said: “Ally's new relationship with TRED expands our digital presence and brings trusted financing and insurance products to its customers at the point of purchase. “As a leader in the industry, our goal is to add value for auto consumers by offering products and services that fit their needs and shopping preferences – whether they choose to purchase at a dealership, or through an online marketplace like TRED." Ally Insurance's products offered on TRED include vehicle service contracts covering the cost of repairs. Additional benefits offered include towing, roadside assistance, rental cars, and trip interruption reimbursement. Grant Feek, chief executive officer at TRED, said: “Bringing the complete financing process to TRED gives buyers increased power and flexibility to purchase the vehicle they want, and gives sellers access to a larger pool of qualified buyers for a faster, more convenient transaction. “The addition of Ally's auto finance and vehicle protection products is part of providing a trusted, end-to-end experience to our customers.” The move to offer Ally's auto finance and insurance products through TRED comes as younger consumers express more interest in shopping for vehicles online. In a recent survey conducted by The Center for Generational Kinetics, on behalf of Ally, 21% of younger millennials said they were likely to shop for and purchase their next vehicle online. TRED is currently available in Washington and Oregon, with plans to expand the service to California this summer.

New look for Cox Automotive Canada

May 24, 2017

Cox Automotive Canada, which offers a range of services across the automotive ecosystem, has launched a new website. Jack Sulymka, director, marketing and corporate communications, Cox Automotive Canada, said: "The automotive remarketing industry is evolving towards an integrated online experience, and along with our enhancements, our new website will also provide key information that can benefit our clients' business." Sulymka said research showed clients are spending more time online than ever before, so the website has been redesigned from a "mobile-friendly" perspective. Information about Cox Automotive Canada’s people, brands and solutions is highlighted, along with the company’s corporate social responsibilities programs, press center and blog, with Canadian-exclusive content along with International news. The Cox Automotive Canada family includes Dealer.com, Dealertrack, Homenet, Manheim, NextGear Capital, Ready Logistics, RMS Automotive, vAuto, VinSolutions, and Xtime.

GECAS in first lease deal with Kalitta Air

May 24, 2017

Leading aviation leasing specialist GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) has delivered of the first of two leased 747-400F factory freighters to Kalitta Air, a leading provider of air cargo transportation, marking a new milestone in the decade-long relationship between the two companies. While GECAS has previously provided debt financing to Kalitta on several 747-400’s (both factory and converted freighters), this delivery is the first aircraft on lease to Kalitta from GECAS, adding capacity to Kalitta Air’s existing fleet of more than 15 widebody freighters. Serving a wide range of clients -- from DHL to the US military – Kalitta combines global air cargo service with comprehensive airframe and engine maintenance solutions.Founder and CEO Conrad Kalitta said: “GECAS has been very supportive of Kalitta Air as we have renewed our fleet. As a trusted partner, I value GECAS’ focus on the air cargo sector.”