When customers apply for vehicle financing today, it’s becoming clear that they want it to be easy, transparent and fast. It’s also apparent that their evaluation of a dealership depends heavily on how quickly and easily the paperwork is accomplished. At the same time, dealers are dependent on the lending companies they rely on for financing to make things easy for consumers.
Analyst group J.D. Power recently released its 2019 U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study, which measured the metrics for success in an automotive finance operation. The study concluded that the key to helping dealers achieve success is financing companies’ ability to answer dealer questions correctly the first time, facilitate electronic transactions and resolve contracts quickly. The study was based on 16,870 retail credit and 2,117 floor plan provider evaluations from dealer personnel.
“Dealers are able to put together more attractive, seamless transactions for their customers when they are able to work in lock-step with lenders they trust to deliver fast, accurate and competitive products,” said Jim Houston, Senior Director, Automotive Finance Intelligence at J.D. Power. “That relationship becomes more important as vehicle sales slow and more buyers may seek to secure financing outside of the dealership. Credit analysts and sales personnel perform some of the most important functions for dealers looking to match customers purchase with the right financial transaction. When these teams are available, knowledgeable and empowered, they improve dealer satisfaction and enhance the lender’s value proposition.”
For the purpose of the research, the study examined dealer satisfaction with three types of lenders: non-captive, captive and floorplan. The non-captive analysis evaluated the dealer/lender relationship across three factors: relationship; provider offerings; and application/approval process. In the captive segment, four factors were evaluated: relationship; provider offerings; application/approval process; and lease return. The floor planning segment evaluated three factors: relationship; portfolio management; and provider credit line.
The following companies rated the highest in the J.D. Power satisfaction study:
Captive—Mass Market Segment
Volkswagen Credit ranked highest in overall dealer satisfaction with a score of 961, followed by Subaru Motors Finance (940) and Mazda Capital Services (921).
Citizens One Auto Finance ranked highest in overall dealer satisfaction with a score of 935, followed by TD Auto Finance (927) and Ally Financial (899).
Audi Financial Services and Volkswagen Credit ranked highest in a tie with scores of 993. TD Auto Finance (983) ranked third.