Dealerships, News

GIVEN the depth of experience that resides in a car finance company like Angle Auto Finance, you would think that developing a new loan package for car buyers would be instinctive. 

But when it came to developing a loan for dealers to sell to electric vehicle (EV) buyers, the financier needed to move within an unfamiliar space and get their heads around what this should look like before they could offer it to the public.

The potential for complexity gave the financier cause to pause.

Susan Jobson

There were so many new levers and so many different stakeholders involved in this space, all which seemed to change by the week. It became necessary to spend time on a fact-finding mission to improve the EV knowledge base of the financier, through the eyes of the customer.

That task fell to Susan Jobson – head of strategic growth, and colleague Warwick Tsang – senior product manager. The pair have a long history of working together, going as far back as in a previous life with another financier.

Mrs Jobson told GoAutoNews Premium: “The vision of this new product was to help get more Australians into cleaner, cheaper-to-run cars. We wanted a product that would be market-leading in this space, and when you look at what’s out there, it’s predominantly banks with offers that are usually rate-driven. 

“Our first job was to find out what the customers knew and what they wanted. We launched a series of research groups with customers who were potentially EV buyers, and then another group of current EV owners. We held two focus groups in Sydney and another two in Melbourne. 

“We set out to find what it is that EV owners experienced during the process of buying an electric vehicle, the reasons why, how they found that journey, what they liked and what they didn’t like. Then we asked the same types of questions to potential EV owners. We were trying to identify why they were moving into that space, what they needed and wanted, and what types of offers they might like to see in the market. 

“Our research told us that customers were predominately looking for home charging solutions, were interested in offers that were skewed towards further cost saving opportunities and wanted to be able to find comprehensive electric vehicle information in one location.

“We then asked them to build us some bundles; give us examples of an offer they thought could be appealing. This ranged from a basic bundle, simply funding the car, and up to an all-encompassing home electric package, including solar panels – the works. 

“We took the opportunity to show them concepts for point-of-sale and allowed them to give us feedback on the colour palette and the imagery, which was wonderfully helpful in shaping the final product look and feel.

“We also met with most of our introducers around the country and spoke with our dealer partners to get their perspective on electric vehicles. 

“What came out as resounding feedback from everyone, was that trying to find information in one place about electric vehicles was difficult.”

Warwick Tsang

Mrs Jobson said that “to be able to finance everything, including home chargers, is quite complicated. No one is really doing that. 

“The other aspect that was interesting, was creating an offer that doesn’t conflict with what is already in the market. Some customers already receive benefits with the purchase of their electric vehicle. That meant that our offer needed to be flexible.”

“As it stands today when you finance an electric vehicle with Angle Auto Finance, it includes your choice of $1,000 worth of public charging with Evie Networks or a $300 RedBalloon voucher. 

Angle Auto Finance has collaborated with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which means that customers who purchase an electric vehicle and comply with eligibility criteria will also receive a reduction in their personalised interest rate.

“This offer of rate reduction, free charging or a RedBalloon voucher gives business managers greater cost saving benefits to pass on to their customers. 

Mrs Jobson said that Angle Auto Finance would also look to further develop the electric vehicle finance offer throughout the remainder of the year.

By John Mellor

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