Notifications & Messages

Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
Hey - It’s time to join the thousands of other dealer professionals on DrivingSales. Create an account so you can get full access to the articles, discussions and people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
×
Amy Taggart

Amy Taggart Marketing Manager

Exclusive Blog Posts

The Biggest Mistake Dealers Make When It Comes to Customer Retention

The Biggest Mistake Dealers Make When It Comes to Customer Retention

Jim Roche is the Divisional VP of Marketing & Managed Services at Xtime. We asked him to tell us the biggest mistake he sees dealers making today when …

Is 2018 the Year of Customer Convenience?

Is 2018 the Year of Customer Convenience?

It seems that every year has a theme attached to it in terms of where dealerships’ focus will be. Which themes or buzzwords will dominate 2018? We…

Upcoming Webinar: Show with Your Showroom, Sell with Your Website

Upcoming Webinar: Show with Your Showroom, Sell with Your Website

Today's customers walk into your showroom better-informed than ever before. Because they've done their research ahead of time, 89% walk into t…

Tips for Leaving a Voicemail

Tips for Leaving a Voicemail

The Voicemail So you receive an internet lead and you call and they don't answer...now what? We leave a message right? Let's say the customer in…

How to Maintain your Car (Maintenance that every Car Needs)

How to Maintain your Car (Maintenance that every Car Needs)

People will purchase a car with much significance. But, car maintaining schedule is fixed by very few. There are many parts in a car. So, regular maintenan…

Get Ready: The Lending Freeze is Finally Thawing

If you were looking online yesterday, you saw the big news about a jump in lending to folks with less-than-perfect credit. Since most dealerships stopped catering to that segment of the popluation as the economy tanked, let's take a look at what it takes to get back in the game and get ready for 2011.

How to rebuild/expand a special finance department

Obviously the first key to rebuilding a special finance department is to find the right personnel. A subprime manager must be experienced, but ambitious.  Subprime deals definitely take more effort and work than your average prime deal but the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is typically bigger if the deal is done right.

Also, as cliché as it may sound, birds of a feather flock together, and if you can get a customer done where other dealers failed, they will be sure to send their friends and family your way.  A qualified special finance manager must be able to leverage personal relationships with lenders and local credit unions.  The days of shotgunning deals to every lender in DealerTrack and looking for the best call back are long gone.

This leads into the next step, which is getting the correct portfolio of lenders.  The old players of Americredit, Chase Custom, and CapitalOne are starting to get more aggressive with their advances, but it is important to have a wide variety of lenders.  For those especially credit challenged customers this includes Drive, Santander, and CAC, but it is also crucial to develop relationships with local credit unions as well.

Last but not least, a special finance department is dependent on having the proper inventory of vehicles.  Without the cars that fit their programs, a subprime lender will be of little help.  The majority of subprime customers are not make- or brand-specific but instead are looking for a specific payment call.  It is important for a dealer looking to increase subprime sales to keep a good mix of late model low mileage cars that fit between an 8k and 16k price range.

There are several ways to acquire these units from trades, auction or wholesalers but the best way is through keeping trades.  The special finance manager will have to work hand in hand with an experienced used car manager to keep the right cars on the lot. 

The time for action is now, and if your dealership does not take action, the one down the street will.  Take this opportunity to expand, rebuild or even start from scratch your special finance department and take back the market share that is rightfully yours!

Brian Matthews is an account executive for Carloan.com. He has been helping dealers with their sales and marketing processes since 2007. You can reach Brian at 804-521-8569 or bmatthewsATcarloan.com.

Bryant Gibby
What is your defintion of subprime. We already have done basically everything you have mentioned and I don't really feel like we have a sub-prime department. We use all those lenders and do our best but I still think it is impossible to get a 540 and below score done. What do you consider sub-prime?

 Unlock all of the community & features  Join Now