New Zealand’s Thorn Group Financial Services is merging with auto dealership software maker Limelight to form Limelight Group.
According to an IT Brief report Monday (March 28), the two companies have had a relationship for several years, with Fox, Thorn’s parent company, having held a stake in Limelight since 2018.
Limelight offers three brands — Motorcentral, Need A Car and BuyerScore — and provides car dealers throughout New Zealand with dealership management software.
“Our two organizations have cooperated effectively since 2018 and grown our vehicle finance business by more than 60% year-on-year by responding rapidly to emerging opportunities in a fragmented market,” said Thorn CEO Mark Spring, who will become chief executive of the newly merged companies.
“Having seen the growth we’ve achieved to date as partners with a minority shareholding, we know we can grow the opportunity exponentially as a single entity,” Spring continued. “As a single FinTech, we will now have full alignment that will allow us to grow even more aggressively, coupled with our combined resources and proven agility.”
The companies said their merger will create an entity that can embed financial services in dealer management software to offer a native digital financing option for dealers and customers. This combined company will offer digital services based on the Limelight Software-as-a-Service product, while also cross-selling other financial services.
Read more: Auto Dealers Integrate Systems in Order to Improve Customer Experience
This merger comes a time when car dealers are making an effort to improve customer experience. As PYMNTS noted last month, with so many consumers having shopped online with Amazon or in store with Apple, they have come to expect that sort of experience when purchasing a vehicle.
“I think, in speaking to a lot of dealers personally, the reason why they’re looking at process is because they know that there’s still areas of their process that they need to fix in order to have that really stellar customer experience,” Michelle Denogean, vice president of Modern Retail at CDK Global, told PYMNTS.