Digital auto loan applications have the power to increase customer satisfaction, but wide variance in the execution of the digital application process has created a significant performance gap between top and bottom performing lenders, according to the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study.
The top-performing mass market and luxury lenders rate significantly higher than the lowest performers (8.75 vs. 7.93 and 8.85 vs. 7.54, respectively, on a 10-point scale) in the most heavily weighted website attribute in the study: range of services that can be performed online.
While the digital application channel generates significantly higher levels of overall satisfaction among both mass market and luxury customers, many are waiting longer for a credit decision than those utilizing dealer representatives. Just 30 percent of customers applying online received a credit decision within 15 minutes vs. 46 percent who filled out a paper application with a dealer.
Time given to make first payment provides greatest impact on onboarding experience: High-ranking mass market and luxury lenders perform highest on time given to make first payment, allowing an average lead time of 21.2 days for mass market customers and 18.4 days for luxury customers prior to first payment due date.
Autopay and Web-based payment drive highest customer satisfaction: Mass market customers paying by hard-copy check are significantly less satisfied than those using autopay (800 vs. 851, respectively, on a 1,000-point scale).
Lincoln Automotive Financial Services ranks highest among luxury brands, with a score of 890. Lexus Financial Services (875) ranks second and Acura Financial Services (869) ranks third.
Ford Credit ranks highest among mass market brands, with a score of 857. BB&T/RAC (855) ranks second and Honda Financial Services (855) ranks third.
Steve Lambert has been named president and CEO at Alliance Inspection Management (AiM).
Lambert will take office in Long Beach, Calif., on Dec. 4.
Lambert joins AiM from Nissan North America Inc., where he served as vice president of information systems, overseeing all of Nissan’s information systems and services across the Americas. At Nissan, he was also president, Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp. (NMAC) and responsible for all sales finance activity in North America, which included the oversight of Nissan Canada Finance and start-up Nissan Renault Finance Mexico.
Previously, Lambert served on AiM’s board of directors from 2005 to 2010. During his tenure as head of NMAC, the company used AiM’s off-lease inspection and floor plan audit services.
Lambert holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in business from BYU’s Marriott Graduate School of Management.
Enterprise Holdings will honor 14 automotive auction partners from across the country with its 2017 Auction Achievement Awards.
This annual program recognizes auto auction partners for exceptional services that support Enterprise Holdings' efforts to remarket late-model, low-mileage, well-maintained rental and fleet vehicles to potential buyers.
Regional Enterprise Holdings teams present the awards to the auction partners in their area, in two categories: whole-car auctions and damaged-vehicle auctions. Recipients are recognized for exceptional performance in the areas of communication, customer service, marketing and reconditioning, operational success, and strategic planning.
The 2017 Auction Achievement Award winners in the whole-car category are:
ADESA Los Angeles (Orange, Calif.)
Manheim Central California (Roseville, Calif.)
Manheim Dallas (Irving, Texas)
Manheim Fredericksburg (Rockville, Md.)
Manheim Omaha (Davenport, Iowa)
Manheim San Diego (Orange, Calif.)
The 2017 Auction Achievement Award winners in the damaged-vehicle category are:
Dealers Auto Auction of the Rockies (Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
IAA Atlanta (College Park, Ga.)
Manheim Dallas TRA (Irving, Texas)
Manheim NJ TRA (Wayne, Pa.)
Manheim Southern California TRA (Orange, Calif.)
Manheim Tampa TRA
Metro Salvage Pool (Davenport, Iowa)
Black Book has released new Economic Scenario-Based Residuals, available to lenders and financial institutions with a portfolio of auto loans.
Black Book has mapped regulatory prescribed scenarios for this new suite of residual data, enabling risk and portfolio managers the ability to analyze how vehicle values will respond under different macroeconomic Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) and Dodd-Frank Act Stress Test (DFAST) scenarios as outlined by the Federal Reserve.
Black Book has historically made available to auto lenders its projected wholesale residual values of vehicles under baseline and various scenarios. These models were built with extensive analysis of historical sales data taking into account impact from macro-economic variables, fuel prices, vehicle incentives, supply and demand in the used and new markets, and other criteria.
Complying with the CCAR/DFAST requirements within existing quantitative models and a model risk management framework is one of the most daunting of the many recent challenges for financial institutions. These lenders have completed extensive work in predicting loss probability using a credit scoring model. However, a key component of loss in auto loans is the severity of loss, which is driven by the ability to predict residual values.
Leveraging this new suite of collateral data with economic scenarios at a vehicle level will greatly enhance a lender’s ability to properly assess risk, and aid in evaluating capital adequacy.
In addition to providing stress testing under CCAR/DFAST-driven scenarios including Baseline, Adverse and Severly Adverse, Black Book will also provide residual projections for custom scenarios such as a High Gas Price scenario.
Used-car sales are expected to come in flat for October.
Edmunds estimates 3.2 million used vehicles will be sold in October, the same number as sold in September.
Edmunds forecasts that 1,317,738 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in October, for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 17.6 million. This reflects a 13.3 percent decrease in sales from September and a 3.5 percent decrease from October 2016.
Edmunds estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 14.6 million vehicles in October 2017, with fleet transactions accounting for 17.1 percent of total sales.
Incentive spending in October remains aggressive as manufacturers clear out record inventories of prior model year vehicles.
Average incentive spending per unit to date in October remains at $3,901, surpassing the previous high for an October of $3,835 in October 2016.
Spending on trucks and SUVs is $3,842, up $73 from last year. Spending on cars is $4,015, up $69.
Incentives as a percentage of MSRP are at 10.5 percent so far in October, exceeding the 10 percent level for 15th time in the past 16 months.
New model year vehicles also continue to account for just 29 percent of sales so far in October, compared with 41 percent last year.
Days to turn, the average number of days a new vehicle sits on a dealer lot before being sold to a retail customer, is 75 through Oct. 22. This is the highest level since July 2009 (80 days).
Facebook is adding car shopping to its Marketplace forum.
Facebook users will now be able to browse inventory from auto dealers through new partnerships with Edmunds, Cars.com, Auction123, CDK Global and Socialdealer. Users can find what they’re looking for by visiting the enhanced vehicles section and filtering listings by year, make, model, mileage, vehicle type and transmission. They can also view car values from Kelley Blue Book.
They can then communicate directly with dealership representatives via Messenger, powered by chat providers like ActivEngage, CarCode, Contact At Once!, and Gubagoo.
New-vehicle sales are expected to decline 2 percent year-over-year to a total of 1.34 million units in October, resulting in an estimated 17.9 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), according to Kelley Blue Book.
In October, new light-vehicle sales, including fleet, are expected to top 1.3 million units, down 1.9 percent compared to October 2016 and down 11.8 percent from September.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate for October is estimated to be 17.9 million, up from 17.8 million in October 2016 and down from 18.5 million in September.
Retail sales are expected to account for 82.7 percent of volume in October, down from 83 percent in October 2016.
After a record year of sales in 2016 and seven consecutive annual increases, Kelley Blue Book’s forecast for 2017 calls for sales in the range of 16.9 and 17.2 million units, which represents a 1 to 3 percent decrease from last year.
Sonic Automotive Inc. reported that its EchoPark used-car superstores retailed 37.7 percent more units than in the prior year quarter.
Sonic is opening another EchoPark store in San Antonio in early 2018. Sonic’s schedule for expansion includes the opening of approximately 10 additional EchoPark locations by the end of 2018.
Sonic’s six EchoPark stores combined were cash flow positive during the quarter. The newest location in Colorado Springs was cash flow positive in its third month of operation, some six months ahead of the original EchoPark stores.
U.S. News & World Report unveiled the Best Used Cars for Teens.
The cars that make up the Best Used Cars for Teens list have the best combination of reliability and safety ratings, ownership costs, positive reviews when they were new and available tech that can help prevent crashes or lessen their severity.
To be named one of the Best Used Cars for Teens, a vehicle has to be from the 2012 to 2014 model years, have the best combination of reliability ratings, crash test scores, available advanced driver assistance features, ownership costs and critics' recommendation score from the U.S. News Best Used Cars rankings in its class.
The 2017 Best-Used Cars for Teens: