Thor Industries Inc. openly promoted its previously announced Thor Credit program at the Louisville Show that will provide a much-needed retail lending source for the Jackson Center, Ohio-based company’s dealer body.
“The entire industry has suffered from decline in availability of retail credit and our dealers have constantly been asking for us to help them out,” said COO Richard “Dicky” Riegel. “It’s important that we have wholesale floorplan financing, but retail credit is truly the missing link.
“The benefits are two-fold. Dealers can increase retail turns and sell-through to help move products. And, potentially, this will help restore the hold-back profit center where participating dealers make a margin on sale of retail financing.”
The program will offer financing on all new Thor products along with used products of any make. Riegel said that Thor would be originating the loans – all prime or super-prime – then selling the paper off “to various financial institutions including small and mid-sized banks.”
Riegel reported that Thor was on a swift timetable regarding the program’s official launch. “We intend to be originating loans as soon as possible in the show season,” he said.
The plan resurrects the company’s previous credit program, which was terminated when partner GE Money exited the RV retail lending arena in May.
“Thor credit has been in business since 1994 with a few different partners,” Riegel said. “When GE exited this summer, we immediately started working on reimplementing a program that would help our dealers during this critical time.”
The division will be led by former Thor Credit employees Ed Arienti, Margaret Gandolfo and Nancy Hartmann.
Riegel said the announcement was well received in Louisville, noting, “I’ve never been thanked so many times.”
He added, “We see Thor Credit as a major example of our belief in the RV market, and commitment to dealers and our shared consumers. This is an opportunity for Thor, with the strongest balance sheet in the industry, to use our strength to inject liquidity into the marketplace.”