Ford offers debt on Net
DETROIT - Ford Motor Credit Co. earlier this month launched the first corporate debt offering ever to be conducted solely on the Internet.
Using the Internet for the $1.2 billion offering gave individual investors a chance to buy into the offering as quickly as big institutional investors, and with as much available information, said Jim Bosscher, Ford Credit assistant treasurer.
Still, institutional investors bought up the lion's share of the offering, he said. A special Web site for investors also provides access to information on Ford and Ford products.
Bosscher said, 'We want our customers to be investors and our investors to be customers.'
NOT A MIDDLEMAN
NEW YORK - iMotors.com, an Internet used-car buying site, offers to arrange financing with third-party lenders and extended service contracts through Aon Corp.
But for now, the company is willing to pass up F&I profit to build share, executives for the San Francisco-based company said in an interview.
'We don't approach it (F&I) like a profit center we are going to aggressively pursue,' said Beth VanStory, iMotors president.
Eli Halliwell, operations vice president, said, 'We're not going to make the mistake of leaving money on the table, but while we're launching, we don't feel we need to' pursue F&I profit aggressively. CEO Adam Simms said iMotors plans to expand outside California this year.
GROUP PLANS EXPANSION
WESTLAKE, Ohio - The Florida Auto Dealers Group Limited Liability Buying Co. plans to expand nationwide this year under the brand name of Auto Group America, said President Mark Mackson.
The organization is a dealer-financed group that buys goods and services in bulk and monitors costs for 375 Florida dealerships, for items ranging from standard forms and cleaning fluids to aftermarket products such as service contracts and gap insurance.
The group also hopes to expand its product line to include property and casualty insurance, he said. The group is managed by Profit Development Group Inc. of Westlake. The parent also services dealerships in the Cleveland area, Mackson said.