Dealers Prioritize Lender Communication, J.D. Power Survey Finds | Auto Finance News | Auto Finance News

Dealers Prioritize Lender Communication, J.D. Power Survey Finds

Audi RS 3 Sportback (via Audi Media Center)

As interest rates rise, dealer satisfaction with their lender partners is increasingly reliant on quick and meaningful communication with credit staff, according to the 2018 J.D. Power Dealer Financing Satisfaction Survey released this week.

“Satisfaction declines by 163 points, on a 1,000-point scale, when dealers are not able to reach the credit staff,” Jim Houston, senior director of the automotive finance practice at J.D. Power, said in a press release. “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.”

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Volkswagen Credit, Citizens One Auto Finance, and TD Auto Finance were the highest ranked lenders in their respective categories.

For the fourth year in a row, Mercedes-Benz Financial remained atop the captive luxury segment amid some volatility among the lenders ranked below it.

“Our commitment is always to listen to feedback from our dealer partners and use it to identify where we can continue to improve in our quest to deliver exceptional experiences to them and our mutual customers every day,” Geoff Robinson, vice president of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, said in a company press release today. “While we are proud of these results, the scores demonstrate what we already know: Our industry never stands still, and so we must seek opportunities for continuous improvement, strive to deliver the highest levels of service, and convey excellence in everything we do.”

Audi Financial Services jumped to the No. 2 spot as BMW Financial Services — last year’s No. 2 luxury captive — fell out of the top seven reported by J.D. Power and below the average score among its peers. Similarly, BMW’s subsidiary MINI Financial Services fell from the No. 1 spot it secured last year in the captive mass market category to below the average score.

Volkswagen Credit took top honors in the captive mass market segment this year inching out Subaru Motors Finance, Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp., and Mazda Capital Services. Subaru’s and Mazda’s finance programs are run by Chase Auto Finance, which took the No. 3 slot among non-captive rankings.

Citizens One Auto Finance and TD Auto Finance rounded out the No.1 and No. 2 slots, respectively, among non-captive lenders. TD Auto Finance also managed to usurp Mercedes-Benz for the top floorplan lender this year.

“We recently expanded the floor plan offering nationwide and we’re pleased our customers see value in what we are delivering,” Andrew Stuart, president and chief executive of TD Auto Finance, said in a company press release. “The Floor Plan product is a vital piece of a dealer’s business and it’s especially exciting to see high scores in the relationship components of the Study that reflect TDAF’s focus on the Dealer Experience.”

Below are the top three lenders from each category in the J.D. Power Dealer Financing Satisfaction Survey and how they compare year over year based on a 1,000-point scale. For full 2018 results click here.


Captive Luxury

2018 2017
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services – 976 Mercedes-Benz Financial Services – 972
Audi Financial Services – 944 BMW Financial Services – 955
Infiniti Financial Services – 942 Infiniti Financial Services – 953


Captive Mass Market

2018 2017
Volkswagen Credit – 956 MINI Financial Services – 954
Subaru Motors Finance – 928 Volkswagen Credit – 916
NMAC – 901 Ford Credit – 887



2018 2017
Citizen One Auto Finance – 921 TD Auto Finance – 912
TD Auto Finance – 917 Citizens One Auto Finance – 909
Chase Auto Finance – 869 Chase Auto Finance – 906


Floor Plan

2018 2017
TD Auto Finance – 994 Mercedes-Benz Financial Services – 986
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services – 989 TD Auto Finance – 982
Volkswagen Credit – 984 Huntington Auto Finance – 970


For further insights into the auto finance space join the Auto Finance Summit 2018, which will take place Oct. 24-26  at Wynn Las Vegas. For more information, visit To register for the event, click here

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