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JOHANNESBURG - Standard Bank is aiming to grow its presence in the automotive finance market and has entered into a joint venture with the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa to provide vehicle and asset finance in Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland.

Simphiwe Nghona, the group head for vehicle and asset finance at Standard Bank, said yesterday he believed this was the first automotive finance joint venture agreement finalised in Africa outside South Africa.

Nghona, who moved to Standard Bank vehicle and asset finance from WesBank seven months ago, confirmed Standard did not have any joint ventures or alliances with any original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in South Africa.

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He said Standard Bank vehicle and asset finance had relationships with MAN Truck and Caterpillar in the rest of Africa and was providing a mobility solution to Uber in Kenya, which was responsible for east Africa.

Footprint

“We are talking about expanding it to the various countries in the region,” he said. Nghona said the Ford looked at other banks before entering into the joint venture with Standard Bank and one of the reasons they selected the bank was its footprint on the African continent.

He said they had agreed to bed down these three countries, make them work and measure the effectiveness of the joint venture before talking about how they expanded their footprint. Nghona confirmed Standard Bank vehicle and asset finance was holding engagements with a number of manufacturers and dealer groups on the African continent, including VW.

But he said it was quite challenging in these countries, particularly in regard to vehicle and asset finance, because these markets were largely driven by used vehicle imports. Nghona said there were some fundamental complexities that came with that, including how to value the vehicles and determine trade-in values.

He confirmed Standard Bank vehicle and asset finance aimed to also grow its presence in the South African market. Nghona said the bank had an estimated 12percent market share in the automotive retail space but aspired to improve its position in the market.

He said WesBank was the market share leader in South Africa, followed by Nedbank and Absa. “Our aspirations are to be the alternative finance house of choice in South Africa within a period of time. I’m talking long term. But in the medium term, I think we can probably move to third position,” he said.

- BUSINESS REPORT