Recently appointed managing director of CNH Capital Australia , Steve Hatton, believes the agricultural industry in Australia is well placed to get through the current global economic crisis relatively unscathed. CNH Capital is the company behind Case Credit and New Holland Finance.
Steve Hatton accepted the top job last month and will relocate permanently from the US to Sydney this week. He is unfazed about taking on the role in the midst of a worldwide economic predicament, saying that the weather is much more of a concern to Australian farmers than the global economy.
“The Australian market has a thriving agricultural economy which should continue to thrive despite the economic turmoil. The ongoing drought has been more of a concern than the economic crisis.
“Throughout the global economic downturn it seems like the Australian currency will make our crop exports more attractive, so I don’t expect we’ll see any surplus in crop commodities and income should be relatively assured,” Steve says.
He adds that while some banks and other financial institutions are finding themselves in difficulty, Case Credit and New Holland Finance are operating as usual. “There are some financial players who are finding it difficult to access funds and in fact in the current economic climate two major auto financiers have announced their withdrawal from the Australian market.
“Case Credit and New Holland Finance are confident of continued access to funds, so our customers have nothing to worry about in that respect. We’re not tightening our credit standards at all. Anyone who would have been approved for finance with us18 months ago would still be approved now.”
Steve says farmers do not need to worry about the crisis affecting their financing through Case Credit or New Holland Finance. “We’ve been here for the past 50 years supporting farming industries and we’ll be here for at least the next 50. Our role has always been to partner with our dealer network and with farmers, and that’s what we’ll continue to do.”
Steve has established several goals for the Australian arm of CNH Capital in the next few years. These include the introduction of new products, updating internal procedures to help the business run more smoothly and stronger promotion of some of the company’s specialist products, including the operating lease.
Steve has been with CNH Capital for seven years. Immediately prior to taking on the top job in Australia, he was a Regional Credit Manager overseeing dealerships across 13 US states. CNH Capital in Australia has a portfolio worth about $1 billion. Steve’s predecessor in the Australian role, Daniel McTaggart, has moved into the position of CNH Capital Credit Manager, based in Turin, Italy.