February 7, 2011-Sparta Commercial expands into auto financing

Sparta Commercial Services Inc. will now be offering indirect consumer automobile financing to new and used automobile dealers throughout the country, the company said in a press release.
This new auto financing program represents an additional area of potential growth for Sparta in the consumer marketplace, which, until now, focused on powersports vehicles.
Through a purchase and sale agreement with a subsidiary of one of the country’s largest independent regional banks, Sparta will offer a non-prime consumer indirect automobile financing program through both new and preowned automobile dealers. Under the terms of the agreement, Sparta will generate revenue from the origination and sale of the loans, and will only be responsible for losses due to a customer’s first payment default or non-delivery of title, both of which are the responsibility of the selling dealer pursuant to the terms of Sparta’s dealer agreements.
This new Sparta non-prime retail installment sales contract program is specifically designed for consumers whose credit and related criteria may not be sufficient to meet the more stringent requirements of most other lenders.
Since Sparta has and is providing financial services to the powersports industry, it said it expects the program to be well received by those automobile dealerships’ owners who also own motorcycle dealerships.

Polaris Names vice president of Human Resources

Polaris Industries Inc. has named Jim Williams as vice president of human resources.
Williams has an extensive human resources background, with top-level experience at Fortune 400 companies. Williams will be responsible for Polaris’ global human resource sourcing and will play a large role in the company’s international growth plans.
“Jim is a world-class human resources professional with broad experience globally inclusive of acquisitions and joint ventures,” Scott Wine, CEO of Polaris Industries, said in a press release. “Jim brings more than 25 years of experience in human resources, much of it at the executive level, to Polaris.”
Williams is succeeding John Corness who, after 12 years of developing a top-tier human resources team, has decided to move into a part-time role that allows him more flexibility.
For the past five years, Williams oversaw a global workforce at Cooper Industries, where he was accountable for 28,000 people in 60 nations. During his time with Cooper Industries, Williams designed and implemented the company’s first human resources agenda, specifically to support Cooper’s long-term growth goals, while also leading structural and procedural process improvement initiatives.
Prior to that, Williams led human resource efforts at Danaher Corp., a $10 billion global industrial conglomerate. In this role he completed a thorough restructuring of Danaher’s entire HR organization, improving procedures and processes at both a corporate and operating level.

ADP sees revenue growth in its latest quarter

ADP reported revenue growth of 9 percent for its second quarter, the company recently announced.
The revenue increase comes despite sales being negatively impacted nearly 1 percent from unfavorable foreign exchange rates during the quarter compared with a year ago.
“I am pleased with ADP’s second-quarter results and that the trends in our key business metrics continued to be positive,” ADP CEO Gary Butler said in a press release.
“We are pleased with the first-quarter acquisitions that we continue to integrate, and we closed three additional transactions during the second quarter. In Dealer Services, the automotive marketplace continued to stabilize. “
Dealer Services’ revenues increased 26 percent, 4 percent organically for the quarter. The U.S. auto marketplace continued to stabilize, ADP reported. Dealership closings subsided, though revenues continued to be negatively impacted as anticipated by the effect of the dealership closings.
Looking ahead, Butler said, “We anticipate no changes in the current economic environment. We continue to expect that the difficult expense and earnings comparisons will ease through the second half of fiscal 2011.”
Dealer Services, excluding acquisitions closed to date during fiscal 2011, are anticipated to grow 2-3 percent.

GE earnings rise 33 percent in its latest quarter

GE reported fourth-quarter earning improvements from continuing operations of $3.9 billion, up 33 percent over the year-ago period.
Revenues grew to $41.4 billion for the quarter, the company’s first positive growth in nine quarters.
“GE ended 2010 with three consecutive quarters of strong earnings growth,” GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said in a press release. “Industrial segment revenue was up 4 percent, with Industrial organic growth of 6 percent. Fourth quarter orders grew 12 percent year-over-year, with a 20 percent increase in equipment and a 5 percent expansion in services.
“Strong performance at GE Capital was also encouraging,” Immelt said. “Fourth-quarter net income of $1.1 billion was up $1 billion from a year ago. Volume grew 30 percent in the quarter at good margins.”

Polaris Industries Announces Increase in Cash Dividend

Polaris Industries Inc. recently announced its board of directors has approved a 13 percent increase in the regular quarterly cash dividend, which represents the 16th consecutive year of Polaris increasing its dividend, effective with the 2011 first quarter dividend.
The first quarter dividend of $0.45 will be payable on Feb. 15.

Piaggio group names new product development leader

The Piaggio Group Product Development and Strategies Division has a new leader.
Davide Scotti, 53, has been assigned all the powers previously held by Maurizio Roman.
Scotti began his career in 1982, at the Alfa Romeo Research Center. Subsequently he worked in the Fiat Auto Innovation and Product Design and Development areas, acquiring technical and managerial experience in North and South America and in the Far East. He held increasingly senior posts until his appointment as head of the Alfa Romeo Compact Car Development Center. PSB

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