HITACHI Capital Vehicle Solutions will be targeting less aggressive growth in 2020 as it plans to add greater value to its proposition, particularly around electric vehicles (EVs).

Speaking at the company’s annual broker conference, Chris Swallow (above), Hitachi’s national sales manager – indirect sales, said that after five years of growth averaging 29% year-on-year, Hitachi would be taking a less aggressive market position next year.

“We’re in a position where we see our market share has matured, so we will be aiming to add greater value to our programme, particularly around EVs,” he said during the conference held over three days at Rushton Hall in Northamptonshire last week (November 25-27). The number of brokers would be reduced as well, from the current level of 117 to 104.

Swallow added that in October Hitachi had made a significant uplift of 10% on EV values as confidence in the EV market grew and “it aligned with our corporate strategy”.

In addition, he wanted to see brokers retain more value in the tactical campaigns the funder introduced – “we don’t want to see a race to the bottom,” he warned.

Chris Swallow clay pigeon shootingMatt Clarke, head of risk, added that Hitachi’s position on underwriting was changing, too, explaining that they had changed a number of regulated underwriting rules to improve automated acceptance rates. In the unregulated area, business risk assessment was also changing, with less emphasis on effective net worth, while using open banking protocols to establish a better risk profile, particularly with lifestyle businesses.

Chris Tubbs, head of sales – SME and personal leasing, also addressed the conference, saying that a company-wide Customer First programme had been introduced which had successfully increased service levels. In addition, Hitachi was introducing an app that could be used by individuals to assess whether they were suitable for EVs.

Over the three days, three separate manufacturers presented to the three groups – Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW – and the traditional end to a Hitachi conference was completed traditionally with a clay pigeon shoot. Chris Swallow (left) pictured doing the traditional thing post Hitachi broker conference.

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