COSTA MESA, Calif. — Dealers are leaning heavily on the credit staff and sales reps, as they covet immediate funding and problem resolution within the dealer finance industry, according to the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study, released today.

Across all lender segments (luxury captive, mass market captive and noncaptive), lender relationship is the heaviest-weighted driver of satisfaction.

“If lenders can ensure credit staff is readily available and knowledgeable, they will see a boost in dealer satisfaction,” said Jim Houston, senior director of the automotive finance practice at J.D. Power. “Satisfaction declines by 163 points, on a 1,000-point scale, when dealers are not able to reach the credit staff. Additionally, if lenders can communicate the best contact for dealers to reach out to for non-traditional questions, the resolution time decreases, which will, in turn, increase dealer satisfaction.”

The 2018 U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 4,476 automotive dealers. The study was fielded between April and May 2018 and measures auto dealer satisfaction in four segments of lenders: noncaptive, captive mass market, captive luxury market, and floor planning.

The noncaptive analysis evaluates the dealer/lender relationship across three factors: relationship, provider offerings, and application/approval process. In the captive mass market and luxury segments, four factors are evaluated: relationship, provider offerings, application/approval process and lease return. Three factors are measured in the floor planning segment: relationship, portfolio management, and provider credit line.

The following are the rankings from the firm’s 2018 study:

  • Captive Luxury Segment: Mercedes-Benz Financial Services ranked highest in overall dealer satisfaction (976), followed by Audi Financial Services (944), and Infiniti Financial Services (942).

  • Captive Mass Market Segment: Volkswagen Credit ranked highest in overall dealer satisfaction (956), followed by Subaru Motors Finance (928) and NMAC (901).

  • Noncaptive Segment: Citizens One Auto Finance ranks highest in overall dealer satisfaction (921), followed by TD Auto Finance (917), and Chase Automotive Finance (869).

  • Floor Plan: TD Auto Finance ranks highest with a score of 994, followed by Mercedes-Benz Financial Services (989) and Volkswagen Credit (984).

Originally posted on F&I and Showroom