BMW Financial already offered BMW customers vehicle service contracts and guaranteed automotive protection, or GAP, coverage. GAP pays the difference between the loan balance and the insurance coverage when a vehicle is totaled or stolen.
But the lender has expanded its vehicle service contract program to provide coverage beyond the original owner of the vehicle.
BMW Financial also is adding products that appeal to lease customers. The company ranked first among dealers in leasing for six consecutive years, according to the consulting firm J.D. Power and Associates. Half of BMW customers lease.
Most lease customers don't buy service contracts because leases typically expire while new vehicles remain under warranty. And because GAP is included in leases, dealers sell coverage only to customers who buy their vehicles.
BMW Financial's new tire-and-wheel coverage sells well among lease and finance customers, DeChristopher says.
Dave Simoni, finance director of Fields BMW in Orlando, Fla., says 50 percent of his customers buy tire-and-wheel coverage, while just 10 percent buy service contracts and 15 percent buy GAP contracts.
Mini dealers now have their first crack at selling Mini-branded aftermarket products from BMW Financial Services. The finance company has just launched vehicle service contracts, GAP and tire-and-wheel for Mini customers.
Simoni says BMW Financial provides better coverage than other independent suppliers.
For example, typical GAP policies pay the borrower up to 120 percent of the vehicle's value when the vehicle is totaled or stolen. BMW Financial pays up to 150 percent of the value, Simoni says.
He also says BMW Financial's tire-and-wheel coverage is better than the norm. Some companies cover a bent or cracked wheel only if the tire doesn't hold air. BMW Financial doesn't have that coverage limitation, says Simoni, and "it makes a huge difference."