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

Want to build your auto loan portfolio? Look at your preferred dealer networks to find the best indicators of where growth is taking place. While it may seem like common sense to keep adding to your preferred dealer list. Are you trapped in the thinking; The more you have, the better off you will be? Is this Accurate? Once you examine where business is coming from you may discover this is not that true. Most credit unions I speak with are often very surprised to discover who is sending business back. This is a case of perception versus reality.

Credit unions can strengthen their competitive advantage and position themselves for growth with a few easy steps:

  • Review the dealers sending your credit union business
  • Enhance support for those dealers, develop strong relationships with them to maximize profits
  • Incorporate them into your marketing strategies, promote their offerings to members through your auto resource and tell dealers you are doing this

Consolidating and concentrating on areas where business is strong will ensure profitability. Build a culture with your preferred dealer network that your credit union is a partner supporting them through promotions and member traffic coming their way. Dealers will be very pleased to learn that your credit union has developed a path for business to happen and repeat business to thrive as well. This type of support would cost dealerships thousands of dollars and your credit union is providing this for free. It’s a two-way street and dealers will be happy to reciprocate the good will. More importantly, this support will allow you to differentiate your credit union from the wide range of finance options available to a dealer. Besides offering attractive finance terms, you are now providing the dealer more showroom/web traffic allowing them to sell more cars. Seize this opportunity…it’s time to reach out and start building profit margins together.

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