Sales of off-lease certified BMW vehicles helped set an income record in 2000 for BMW Financial Services, says its president, Robert Devine.

In 2000, BMWFS surpassed the $5 billion mark in lease and retail financing income, while the pre-owned vehicle total exceeded the 40,000 mark, says Mr. Devine.

"This occurred despite BMW's spinoff of Land Rover last June to its new owner, Ford," says Mr. Devine. "Ford Credit's Primus Financial Services took over new Land Rover business, while we are servicing loans and leases made prior to June."

Both the total revenue and certified pre-owned sales highs exceed totals reached in the previous record year, 1999, and BMW claims no other luxury brand sold as many off-lease vehicles in 2000.

Of course, there are a lot of off-lease luxury vehicles available to sell. That's because leasing is particularly high for luxury brands.

BMW customers shopping for pre-owneds now can obtain estimated monthly loan and lease payments via an online "estimator" on the BMW Web site. This service supplements an inventory and model data function. It also gives shoppers information on down payments, trade-in values, annual lease mileage and contract lengths.

"This is one-stop shopping at its best," says BMW's pre-owned sales and marketing manager, Bill Bates. "We're linking customers directly with BMW retail centers, BMW of North America and BMWFS prior to purchasing or leasing a certified pre-owned BMW."

Mr. Devine says certified pre-owned vehicle volume rose 60% in 2000 from 1999.

BMWFS is also expanding the size of its Dublin, OH, headquarters building.

The financing company was established in 1993. Its founding president, Stefan Krause, returned to BMW's world headquarters in Munich, Germany, at year-end to become a regional sales manager in global operations.