Dealer satisfaction with automotive financing lenders has increased notably year-over-year in 2011, with captive lenders BMW and Mercedes-Benz taking first or second place in all three areas covered by the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study. The study finds that dealer satisfaction with automotive lenders has increased from 2010 in the prime retail credit, retail leasing and floor planning areas.
BMW, Mercedes Tie for Top Billing in Prime Retail Credit
BMW Financial Services and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services each rank highest in the prime retail credit segment, in a tie (959 each). BMW Financial Services performs particularly well in the application/approval process factor, while Mercedes-Benz Financial Services performs particularly well in the provider offering factor. Following in the rankings is Ford Credit (920).
Ally Financial improves more than any other lender in the segment in 2011, increasing by 113 points from 770 in 2010 to 883 in 2011. The industry average score is 862. The study examines three key factors that contribute to satisfaction within the prime retail credit and subprime retail credit segments: provider offering; application/approval process; and sales representative relationship.
Mercedes Leads Leasing
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services ranks highest in the retail leasing segment with a score of 960 and performs particularly well in the sales representative relationship factor. BMW Financial Services follows closely in the rankings with a score of 957. Ford Credit ranks third with a score of 914.
In this category as well, Ally Financial improves more than any other lender in the retail leasing segment in 2011, increasing by 104 points from 773 in 2010 to 877 in 2011, which is also the industry average score. Four factors are measured in the retail leasing segment: provider offering; application/approval process; sales representative relationship; and vehicle return process.
Mercedes First in Floor Planning
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services ranks highest in the floor planning segment with a score of 970, followed by BMW Financial Services (966) and Toyota Financial Services (943). The industry average score is 903.Three factors are measured in the floor planning segment: finance provider credit line; floor plan support; and floor plan portfolio management.
Non-captive Lenders Make Strides
While captive finance providers are the highest performers in each area, J.D. Power analysis indicates year-over-year improvement by non-captive lenders has outpaced improvement by captives. Particularly within the prime retail credit segment, several banks, including Ally Financial, Bank of America, Citizens Auto Finance and SunTrust Bank, have improved from 2011 at a considerably higher rate than the industry average. J.D. Power says dealerships cite several reasons for their high satisfaction with these non-captive lenders, including ease of conducting business, quick decisions and flexibility of programs and purchasing.
July Auto Sales Look Promising
July 2011 US new vehicle retail sales are projected to come in at 913,900 units, which represents a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 9.8 million units, according to other recent J.D. Power and Associates estimates. This figure is up 5% from 9.3 million in June 2011 and up 6.5% from 9.2 million in July 2010.
However, new vehicle retail sales are still down from the first four months of the year, when they fluctuated between an adjusted 10.7 million and 11.2 million units.
About the Data:The 2011 U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 2,763 dealer principals who were surveyed by J.D. Power and Associates between March and April 2011, and is the source of the enclosed charts.