By: Robert O'Hara, VP Strategic Alliances, GrooveCar & CU Xpress Lease

In a recent CNN Money report on car sales, commentators were quick to point out the auto industry’s seventh straight year of record sales in 2016. Since the recession in 2009, when U.S. car sales bottomed out at 10.4 million units, it has been a very monumental climb to reach a record 17.6 million cars and trucks. Some reports show that number may be even higher, at 18.4, for 2016.  Will this trend continue in 2017? All indicators point to yes, but it’s not time to celebrate and rest on your laurels. A good amount of planning has to go into making 2017 a success.

Automobile makers are investing in technology. Your members are demanding the latest technology from all of their purchases, especially cars and trucks. Cutting edge companies are helping to provide technology solutions for automakers, partnering to create exciting opportunities for your car buying members. Automakers will bring the very best to the market while growing their core consumer’s desire for more features. These types of partnerships are the foundation for creating more business.

Developing a strategy to capture your member’s interest will never go to waste. Invest in programs that will ensure your members understand the value your credit union offers. Devote resources to programs that will promote organic growth. Like the auto industry, partnering is a very smart move. Manage your credit union, and do what you do, and let your partners take care of the rest…by working to bring business to you. By assisting you with building and managing your program, our staff expertise provides the support your credit union needs to be successful, it’s that simple.

Partnering is what we do. In 2016 our company expanded  into southern California, increased our penetration into New Jersey and increased our presence in the surrounding metro region of New York, and in doing so, we helped create growth. Both GrooveCar and CU Xpress Lease released its year in review company announcements. 2016 was a historic year for both companies with double-digit growth, reaching milestones, introducing new programs, launching a new auto buying platform, creating new marketing tools and delivering new strategies for credit unions to engage with members. Likewise, our services provided members with the means to shop for a vehicle, from anywhere. While it is great to look back at where we’ve been, it’s very productive to look ahead at where we are going.

What do we have planned for 2017?…More! More ways to engage, more ways to capture loans and more ways to stay ahead of the rapidly changing auto buying landscape.  It’s all about having more, and the GrooveCar programs in 2017 are designed to deliver more results.

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