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Consumers Prefer Automaker Finance Arms

Consumers Prefer Automaker Finance Arms

By Jeff Youngs, February 24, 2012
Negotiating a loan or lease for a new car can be an anxiety-filled experience. However, consumers that arrive at the dealership with a lender preference, but who may not have pre-approvals, and ultimately use that lender to finance their new vehicle purchase or lease tend to have much higher satisfaction levels than consumers who don't have a lender preference and let their dealer work out financing arrangements, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study.SM Furthermore, this study finding holds true whether the consumer is seeking financing from a carmaker's "captive" finance arm, a bank or a credit union. In addition, nearly one-third of luxury vehicle buyers and more than one-fourth of non-luxury vehicle buyers who use the Internet to research financing options ahead of time say that online research has "some" or "big" impact on the selection of their finance provider, the study shows.

Based on responses from more than 24,400 consumers who financed a new vehicle during the past seven months, the study also finds that, whether a consumer is financing a loan or lease for a luxury or non-luxury vehicle, automaker financial arms-often called "captives"-rank highest and receive the highest scores in overall consumer financing satisfaction. According to the study, BMW Financial Services, Ford Credit and Hyundai Motor Finance Company each rank highest in satisfying consumers with the financing process in four financial categories: application approval. payment and billing process, customer contact, and the provider's product. A few highlights about the top performers from the study:
  • Non-Luxury Loan Satisfaction Rankings:
    Hyundai Motor Finance Company ranks highest among non-luxury loan providers, performing particularly well with its product offerings. Ford Credit and Mazda American Credit follow in the non-luxury loan consumer satisfaction rankings.
  • Non-Luxury Lease Satisfaction Rankings:
    Ford Credit ranks highest in satisfying consumers with the non-luxury lease financing process, performing particularly well in the application approval process. Volkswagen Credit and Honda Financial Services follow Ford Credit in the rankings.
  • Luxury Loan Satisfaction Rankings:
    BMW Financial Services receives the highest satisfaction ranking for its luxury loan financing process. It performs well in all areas of the financing experience. GMAC and Honda Financial Services follow BMW Financial Services in satisfying luxury loan customers.
  • Luxury Lease Satisfaction Rankings:
    For a second straight year, BMW Financial Services also ranks highest in the luxury lease financing process, with particularly strong performance in satisfaction with the payment/billing process. Ford Credit ranks No. 2 followed by Honda Financial Services.
For more information on the 2008 Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study, click here to read the press release.
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