March 1 2004. Last year was the best performance Forthright Motorcycle Finance has shown and the Royal Bank of Scotland group company is even more optimistic about 2004.

Looking at 2003 as a whole, one of the biggest changes within Forthright Motorcycle Finance has been their extensive team expansion. There are now 20 regional managers throughout the country, allowing for better service and coverage in the UK, and also exploiting the specialist skills of each member of staff. In addition, in 2004, some of these managers will be taking their CBT bike test.

One of the greatest success stories of 2003 was the Forthright Motorcycle Finance Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) product. This product produced 12% of overall business written in 2003 and the success may be due to the opportunity for the dealer to sell this product under their own brand name. The launch of the APAK web-based stocking and processing system has also been an incredible success, improving the efficiency of applications for both Forthright Motorcycle Finance and the dealer.

The average loan amount for the year was £4,400. Profitability also saw an impressive increase on 2002.

Collections and auctions in conjunction with BCA (British Car Auctions) in Manchester have also been a huge success, with a large amount of enquiries being received towards the end of 2003.

Building new relationships was a target for Forthright Motorcycle Finance in 2003 and they certainly achieved this. Stock funding relationships have been established with several new dealerships, mainly due to the flexibility for Forthright Motorcycle Finance to provide exactly what each individual dealership needs.

Looking to the year ahead, Forthright Motorcycle Finance hopes to further increase their market share, put greater emphasis on the market needs and wants, and to further establish themselves as a UK-wide finance company with UK-wide account management services. Forthright Motorcycle Finance will continue to fulfil their objective of "making the bike of your dreams more affordable today." In this way, they plan to remain customer-oriented and flexible to individual needs by making their products individually designed with the customer in mind.

Director of Motorcycles, Jonathan Mitchell, explains his plans for 2004; "We have established many beneficial relationships with some important dealerships in 2003 and I hope to secure more of these throughout 2004. As a general consensus, I have found many industry members have mentioned to me how challenging the motorcycle industry was last year. However, this is looking up for 2004. Many dealerships are considering the "solus dealership" route whereby manufacturers are encouraging them to be a sole stockist of their bikes. This could be quite a radical change for the industry and could certainly hold opportunities for finance companies, such as Forthright Motorcycle Finance, to set up relationships with each manufacturer.

"For Forthright Motorcycle Finance specifically, the PCP was extremely popular in 2003 and we will look to continue with this. We also launched Connections, an internet-based quotations system, in late 2003 and this will certainly be a focus for 2004. Another key element in 2004 will be our Credit Sale product, which creates an opportunity to lend more than the value of the customer's motorcycle," added Mitchell.