QUESTION: Why should a customer consider
Komatsu Financial for financing equipment
instead of going with an outside lender?
ANSWER: All we do is finance Komatsu
equipment through Komatsu distributors. That
puts us in a unique position to better understand
customers’ opportunities and the challenges
they face compared to an outside lender that
finances everything from homes to airplanes.
Being an equipment manufacturer, we also
know the construction and mining marketplaces
better, which allows us to be more flexible on the
front-end when setting up the financing and on
the back-end if customers hit a bump in the road.
At Komatsu Financial, either on the front end or
after the sale, our first question is always, “How
can we help?” For those reasons, the number of
companies that turn to Komatsu Financial for their
equipment needs has continued to increase.
QUESTION: How much of an increase have you
ANSWER: More than 80 percent of all new
Komatsu machines sold in North America are
financed by Komatsu Financial. That is up from
about 60 percent five years ago.
QUESTION: How have you been able to achieve
ANSWER: We’ve taken a much more
customer-oriented approach, including getting out
in the field and meeting directly with dealers and
customers to understand how we can better serve
their needs. That contact has helped us develop a
lot of great programs that are different than what
the typical marketplace has to offer. For example,
if a customer has a lease that’s greater than 24
months, we’ll let them out of it six months early,
as long as the customer is buying another piece
of Komatsu equipment. So, a customer may have
a D51 dozer and would really like a larger size or
a new D51i-22 intelligent Machine Control dozer.
With this program, we completely forgive the final
six months of payments on the existing lease, to
allow for the additional machine purchase. Nobody
else in the industry does anything like that.
QUESTION: Could you give some other
ANSWER: In talking with customers, many said
they desired the flexibility of paying over time
for repairs or service work from their dealer. We
developed a parts and service financing program
that’s a true loan. Some competitors have similar
financing, but in reality, it’s a credit card that charges
higher interest. Komatsu Financial’s program lets
customers finance the first $50,000 at zero percent
for 15 months with no payments for 90 days. That
allows the customer to bring the equipment into the
shop, get it fixed and get the equipment back and
working before a payment is due. Additionally, on
this or any other product from Komatsu Financial,
there is never a pre-payment penalty.
Another example is our Flex Lease. Customers
make a 36-month commitment, but every year on
the anniversary of the lease, they have the option
to return the equipment. That grew out of a
customer telling us, “I think I need a machine for
three years, but I know for sure I need it for one.”
The advantages are obviously that if a situation
changes, they can opt out, and if customers
choose to stay in the lease, their rate continues
to be what it was from the day the lease started.
It’s been well-received, especially in light of the
past few years when we’ve seen a big shift from
ownership toward leasing. We have several other
attractive leasing options if that’s the route a
customer wants to go.
QUESTION: Do you finance used equipment?
ANSWER: Absolutely. We’ll finance new and
used equipment as long as it’s a product a
distributor sells and not a competitive brand. Our
focus is on helping build successful relationships
with our distributors and their customers, and
financing new and used equipment, leases and
parts and service contributes to that. We consider
Komatsu Financial a facilitator in the process,
and we’re willing to do whatever we can to help
customers be successful.