Thursday, July 16, 2009

NBC's Primary Owner, GE, To Quit Motorcycle Financing Business

GE, which owns an 80% share in NBC, has made a business decision to leave the motorcycle, motor scooter and other power-sports financing business at the end of July. A credit division of GE has operated a speciality power-sports financing business for several years, acting as a major boom to many motorcycle and power-sports dealers offering a special "FUNancing Card". Many dealers incomes have heavily depended on this card to finance their products, although the interest rates that GE Money Bank charges customers can be very high, often around 21% interest.

Although GE hasn't really elaborated on all the reasons they intend to leave this important financing sector, but production and sales on all two wheeler vehicles tend to trending downward just like the automobile market. In Japan, the production by engine class of many motorcycles is down as much as 54% compared to a year ago. However, domestic sales of motorbikes in the United States are only down by 12-35.3% based on engine size and class, so some segments still have some healthy signs. But likely, GE is being hit with record loan defaults, as younger buyers who are attracted to motorbikes lose their jobs and ability to afford to pay for their purchases.

GE might be looking to cut losses in a declining market and with record purchase defaults. Whatever GE's reasons, it now might be just a little bit harder to be that Peter Fonda, "Born To Be Wild", EASY RIDER-type guy you imagine yourself to be in your fantasies.


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