Auto lending has become an increasingly electronic process, and dealership finance teams are generally supportive of new technologies like artificial intelligence being used in the loan adjudication process. But when it comes to building business relationships, there's no substitute for an effective face-to-face sales meeting. According to the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study, 77% of dealership finance and insurance teams say in-person meetings with sales representatives are the key to increased business with lenders.
“Finance teams overwhelmingly prefer one-on-one interaction with lending sales reps in the dealership, but there is a catch,” said Patrick Roosenberg, senior director of automotive finance intelligence at J.D. Power. “Those sales reps need to be prepared and the meetings need to be highly effective. When sales reps can clearly communicate current and upcoming programs and speak to the specifics of the dealership customer base, dealers are four times more likely to send more business within the next 12 months. The problem is, today, lender reps miss the mark on delivering a highly effective sales meeting nearly 40% of the time.”
While dealers are clear on their preference for interpersonal relationships in the sales process, some dealership F&I teams are also embracing new technology options.
“When it comes to the introduction of AI and machine learning in the loan adjudication and approval process, 30% of dealership finance teams say they are comfortable with the process,” Roosenberg said. “However, half say they are not, so it really is about striking the right balance between people and technology as the industry evolves.”
Captive Mass Market—PrimeSoutheast Toyota Finance ranks highest in overall dealer satisfaction with a score of 901, followed by Subaru Motors Finance (819) and Mazda Financial Services (766).
Non-Captive National—PrimeTD Auto Finance ranks highest in overall dealer satisfaction for a fourth consecutive year, with a score of 878. Ally Financial (854) ranks second, and Wells Fargo Auto (778) ranks third.
Non-Captive Regional—PrimeHuntington National Bank ranks highest in overall dealer satisfaction with a score of 753. Santander Auto Finance (746) ranks second, and Fifth Third Bank (703) ranks third.
Non-Captive—Sub-PrimeAlly Financial ranks highest in overall dealer satisfaction for a third consecutive year, with a score of 852. Chase Automotive Finance (762) ranks second, and Wells Fargo Auto (718) ranks third.
The 2023 U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 3,552 auto dealer financial professionals. The study, which was fielded in April and May, measures auto dealer satisfaction in five segments of lenders: captive premium–prime, captive mass market–prime, non-captive national–prime, non-captive regional–prime and non-captive–sub-prime.
Originally posted on F&I and Showroom