Auto finance service fee: Where is the industry's "hidden rules"?
Last week, the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show kicked off. Although new cars are gathered, major auto brands have shown new products and "black technology", but in the automotive consumer market, financial services fees and other chaos still make people feel chilly. Since the exposure of Xi’an Mercedes-Benz women’s rights defenders, many car owners have begun to question, what is the auto finance service fee? Is it legal and legal?
In response to this problem, the China Banking Regulatory Commission responded on April 15 that it has asked the Beijing Banking Insurance Regulatory Bureau to investigate whether Mercedes-Benz Auto Finance Co., Ltd. has a problem of collecting financial service fees through dealers' violations. At the same time as the investigation is taking place, the automotive industry is also rethinking.
Since the first negative growth in passenger car sales in 2018 in 2018, many dealers’ bicycle prices have continued to drop, and operating costs such as 4S stores have risen day by day. Such “scissors difference” has forced 4S stores to pass other Ways to get profits. In the process of dealing with multiple objects such as car companies, dealers, 4S stores, users are increasingly unable to endure uncertainty and opacity in car consumption. In this public opinion condemnation and industry reflection, can the "hidden rules" of auto finance service fees change?
Industry "hidden rules": What is the auto finance service fee?
Recently, the "Xi'an Mercedes-Benz female car owner's rights defending" incident continued to ferment, and the "4S shop used various methods to guide users to pay" the 15,000 yuan financial service fee caused widespread concern. Subsequently, many consumers reported a similar situation when they bought a car.
Mr. Yang, who lives in Urumqi, Xinjiang, is a rider. Most local brands of 4S shops have visited. According to his observations, financial service fees are a process that users must go through when buying a car. In September 2017, Mr. Yang’s father paid a 4,5 thousand yuan financial service fee through a 4S shop loan.
Despite the hardships of users, financial service fees have become a "hidden rule" in car sales. Zhang Bin (a pseudonym) is the account manager of a state-owned bank in Liaoning responsible for the car loan business. About two years ago, the bank he worked for had a car loan cooperation with a Japanese auto brand dealer. The two parties agreed to provide zero-interest loans to users.
In August 2017, a customer applied for a car loan. Zhang Bin informed the client when calculating the interest that “we provide zero interest loans for some models”. However, customer feedback said that the 4S shop has charged him thousands of dollars in financial services fees on the grounds that “the bank loan needs to be charged”. Under doubt, the customer asked the 4S shop about the situation and then asked to return the car.
The progress of the incident was unexpected. The staff of the 4S shop was very angry and asked Zhang Bin: "Why do you want to tell the customer about the cost? You don't have to make your loan. What do you do with other things? Now the customer has to retreat. What do you say?" After the incident, the cooperation between Zhang Bing’s sub-branch and the 4S shop involved in the suspension was “no longer recommended to customers”, but it still has car loans with other banks.
There are more and more complaints and disputes related to it. As early as the beginning of 2018, Beijing Haidian Court Network published a case report entitled "Say "No" to the auto finance service fee, and mentioned a case. The Haidian District People's Court reiterated: "The car sales company does not have any legal basis for collecting financial service fees, and should be refunded."
In March of this year, the Hefei Municipal Market Supervision Administration issued a document stating that it is neither reasonable nor legal for a consumer to purchase a car by means of an installment loan, and that the so-called “financial service fee” is collected by a car sales company. In particular, some car sales companies have concealed from the consumers when they have received financial services from the financial companies. Repeated collection of so-called "financial service fees" has violated consumers' right to know and to choose.
As auto finance service fees have been pushed to the forefront of public opinion, the automotive industry has recently reflected on such issues.
Li Wei (pseudonym), a veteran of the automotive industry who has worked for the China Automobile Dealers Association, said that in most cases, auto finance service fees are fees that are randomly collected by dealers. Unjust benefits should be refunded. However, he also revealed that because of the interests of most car dealers, the industry has begun to have a tacit understanding of "prohibiting public talk about auto finance service fees."
“The 'service fee' is one of the dealer's profit sources. But it must be legal and compliant, and must be clearly stated.” Shen Jinjun, president of the China Automobile Dealers Association, said in an interview recently that consumer rights protection is not wrong. At the seller. "Frankly speaking, the seller is having problems in this matter. Whether it is a dealer or a Mercedes-Benz China or Beijing Benz, there are places and problems that are not handled properly."
In Shen Jinjun's view, this matter is not entirely the responsibility of the dealer. Vendors and dealers have a need for improvement during the handling of the incident. "The car is not a 4S shop car, it is a manufacturer's car. Before the manufacturer gives a solution, the 4S shop has no right to handle it casually. The 4S shop should tell the manufacturer about the car and let the manufacturer confirm it."
Who will pay for the cost of “scissors difference”?
"The Xi'an Benz event has shaken the entire automotive industry. In a sense, it is not accidental to happen." Xia Shu, an independent auto industry commentator, told reporters that if there is no drastic reform of the existing unequal relationship between manufacturers, Similar disputes may occur frequently.
Xia Shu analysis, on the one hand, as the Chinese auto market enters a relatively long period of micro-growth or negative growth, the profitability of auto dealers deteriorates sharply; on the other hand, due to the development of automotive technology in the fields of intelligence and new energy, especially After the implementation of the “National VI Vehicle Pollutant Emission Standard”, highly clean gasoline will significantly reduce the frequency of car maintenance and maintenance, which may cause the 4S shop customers to continue to decline.
At present, the main sources of revenue for auto dealers with 4S stores are new car sales, after-sales maintenance, and auto finance. Among them, new car sales accounted for a large number, but in recent years, the proportion has declined year by year; the automobile finance business has developed rapidly in recent years, and its proportion has increased year by year.
However, the overall trend of weak domestic automobile consumption growth has become more and more obvious. In 2018, passenger car sales have experienced the first negative growth in the past 30 years, and many dealers' bicycle prices have continued to drop. According to the “Annual Survey of Automobile Dealers' Satisfaction with Manufacturers in 2018” (hereinafter referred to as the “Investigation”) issued by the Automobile Dealers Association of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, 53.5% of the dealers lost their operations in 2018, and 27.1% of the dealers continued to Annual loss.
In the long-term formation of the automobile industry, production enterprises play a leading role, and downstream distributors in the circulation field are in a subsidiary position. The above-mentioned "Investigation" mentioned that the reasons for affecting the satisfaction of dealers mainly include manufacturers forcibly pressing the warehouse, the sales targets are unrealistic, and the sales prices are seriously upside down; in 2018, only six brands of dealers completed the sales targets issued by the manufacturers. 57.3% of the dealers' main products have a market price lower than the manufacturer's wholesale price, and the main product sales do not make money.
New car sales do not make money, and while the growth rate declines, the operating costs of dealers with 4S stores as the mainstay are rising day by day. Such "scissors difference" has forced 4S stores to make profits through other means.
“Now a 4S shop needs at least 60 employees, and a larger luxury brand 4S shop may have hundreds of people, so there must be enough profit sources to support it.” Xia Shu said that because the car companies have a higher store size for authorized dealers. The requirements, dealers' rent, manpower and other operating costs remain high, and some also have to bear the hidden costs of imported vehicle certification fees, and ultimately these costs will be passed on to consumers. And once the car is not selling well, dealers will find ways to make more profits from consumers, and even use their brains.
Liu Yang (pseudonym) once worked in the 4S shop for car sales. According to him, every year, the factory will set the sales target for each 4S shop according to the sales volume of the previous year. After completing the indicator, the 4S shop can get the year-end rebate of the factory. The 4S shop will carry out various kinds of cars in order to sell more cars. Promotions.
"But the price of the 4S shop (car) is not much higher than the manufacturer's guide price. In fact, many of the discounts are from the dealer's own pocket, so it is necessary to collect various expenses to flatten the loss." Liu Yang often recommends The friends around you have to look at the final comprehensive price when buying a car. Because many 4S stores sell new cars and do not make money, even 4S stores rely on after-sales departments to support the new car sales department. In this case, the 4S shop is likely to charge the user for the financial service fee, and may also charge the fee by giving away the decoration. "In fact, all the wool is on the sheep. It is impossible to offer discounts and no fees. (The 4S shop will lose money).
How to break the vicious circle of "difficulties in defending rights"
After the incident of "Xi'an Mercedes-Benz female car owners defending rights", the discussion on the difficulty of safeguarding the rights of car consumption is increasing. In this regard, Chen Jiaming, a lawyer of Zhejiang Duolian Law Firm, suggested: “Consumers should ask more questions, consult professionals, don’t think that most 4S stores are getting it. It’s definitely legal. For example, financial services fees, consumers should ask The other party stated that according to what standard charges."
According to Chen Jiaming, there are several types of illegal activities commonly used by dealers: one is to increase the price of the car, or to charge the name in the name of the decoration fee; the second is to force the owner to buy insurance in the 4S shop, and some have no insurance concurrent agent qualification certificate. Sales insurance; the third is that the installed accessories do not have a certificate; there are some 4S stores that do not even give the owner the sales contract, let alone the cost of the public fare.
To this end, Chen Jiaming advises consumers to buy a car, especially when buying a premium car. If conditions permit, you can consult or hire a professional to go to the 4S store and keep relevant evidence.
Li Wei believes that in the protection of auto finance service fees, the first thing to do is to protect the legitimate rights and interests of consumers. On this issue, local governments and regulatory authorities cannot be ambiguous. “Chinese consumers support the world’s number one position in car sales, but they don’t get the best service.”
In the eyes of the industry, in order to fundamentally solve the problem of “difficulties in defending rights”, it is also necessary to make changes within the automotive industry. Not long ago, the All-Union Car Dealer's Chamber of Commerce issued an "open letter to the passenger car manufacturers." The letter pointed out: "At present, the focus of manufacturers' contradictions is that manufacturers are pursuing scale effects and increasing market share. They are not prejudging the changes in market supply and demand. They have not adjusted their production and sales targets in time according to market changes, and have not developed from the upstream and downstream of the industry chain. Consider the issue highly."
According to the survey, 63.3% of dealers in 2018 did not have the right to decide on the sales volume and model of the agent, and 60% of the dealers reported that the manufacturer had a forced press. Over 70% of the dealer's stock index exceeded the warning line of 1.5. 49.2% of dealers reported that when the outlets in the same location were at a loss or the profit was lower than the industry level, the automakers would still force the placement.
Correspondingly, in 2018, 85% of dealers did not complete the sales target set by the manufacturer, and nearly half of the dealers had a sales target completion rate of less than 80%. At the same time, 57.3% of the dealers reported that the market price of the main products of their agents was lower than the wholesale price of the manufacturers, and the prices of the entire industry were upside down. Among them, 11.63% of the dealers lost more than 5 million yuan in 2018; only 12.08% of the dealers earned more than 5 million yuan in 2018.
As of July 2018, the nationwide distributor network consisting of 3S stores, 4S stores and 5S stores has reached 29,078. The total dealer network growth in the previous year was 5.5%, which has exceeded the growth rate of the industry and the competition is fierce. The market and resources are limited, but the density of 4S stores is increasing. As a result, the relationship between car companies and dealers began to deteriorate; under the amplification of social platforms, the strange situation of “car companies, dealers and consumers are complaining” appeared from time to time.
As the two rings of the industry chain are closely linked, in the current environment, production companies and distributors only work closely together to jointly bear the pain of industry transformation, and jointly promote the stable and sustainable development of the automobile market. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called for car companies and dealers to face up to the development of the market and face the problems in the operation.
"Because of the unequal relationship between manufacturers and the negative growth of the automobile market, dealers do not make money by selling cars, so they use their brains to make money from consumers in an opaque way. This vicious circle is not sustainable." Xia Shu told reporters Relevant departments should strengthen supervision and strictly enforce the law in accordance with the "Anti-monopoly Law", "Automobile Brand Sales Management Implementation Measures" and other requirements, severely crack down on market monopoly behavior, and introduce a variety of formats to encourage market competition.
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