We’re really looking forward to attending the upcoming Business After 5 event in Tauranga next Wednesday (November 2nd).
Both of our business finance specialists for the Bay of Plenty region will be there, so we thought this would be a good chance for you to get to know them a bit. First up is Colin Bower.
Tell us a bit about your background.
Colin: I’ve got more than forty years of experience in the automotive industry, starting out of high school. I went through all the areas of experience in the motor car business, including owning my own dealership: Colin Bower Kia and Daihatsu on the North Shore. I’ve been doing finance and insurance for the last twenty years and got qualified as a registered financial advisor seven years ago. So I’ve got a national certificate in financial services. I think there’s no real substitute when it comes to giving people good advice. I like to think of myself as an advisor who goes out of their way to put them in a better financial position than when I found them.
I’m a petrol head by nature and am really into a lot of motor racing of various types. I record motorcycle and racing car events and watch them while I work out in the morning.
How long have you been at Driveline for?
Colin: I’ve been doing Driveline leasing for the last seven years.
Where are you based?
Colin: I operate from the sunny Bay of Plenty in Tauranga. I’ve got an office at the Mount, where I go if I need to meet somebody. I operate from the home office most of the time. If I don’t need to go into the office, it’s always a nice environment.
What are some of the things you enjoy about your job?
Colin: Well, being a petrol head, there is almost something nice about being involved in the new motor and vehicle industry of course. Most of what I do is in the new Utes and vehicles and SUV’s and so forth; so I keep right up to the moment on all the motor vehicle stuff.
I enjoy the clients I work with. I have a lot of them who I’ve been working with for many years and get a lot of referrals from them. It’s always enjoyable to get business referrals from a satisfied customer and a number of accountants too.
What are businesses owners often unware of when it comes to vehicle leasing?
Colin: I think when most people hear the word lease, they think of the traditional operating lease which is a product you are basically renting until the end of the term and then give it back. There are some traps for the unwary. All leases are not created equal. The mileage penalties can bite. The refurbishment costs can be quite expensive.
With our Smartlease, it’s much more flexible device and we don’t penalise people for excess mileage or refurbishment costs. The tax benefits are undeniable, up to 100% deductible as an expense. The real benefit is that it frees up capital and allows people to put their working capital into the business or an investment or property and keep the lease vehicle separate and off the books. You also get the opportunity of making an offer to acquire the vehicle at the end of the term and getting a really good buy.
I really like the Driveline Smart Lease product. It’s worked particularly well for my clients, most of whom are owner operators, SME’s and tradies.
What trends and changes do you see happening in the industry?
Colin: The buzz at the moment is all about self-driving vehicles. What I see in reality with the clients I deal with is that they actually like driving their vehicle. The Utes in particular; you can dress them up, they look fantastic, they’re getting better and better and the technology improvements over the last five years have just been amazing. I expect that to continue. I don’t think there’s any substitute for the average Kiwi guy or gal to be able to enjoy their vehicle. I don’t think there’s going to be any real change to that in the next decade or two.