Auto finance industry executives from Lucid Motors, Stellantis Financial Services and Wells Fargo Auto are warmed up and ready to launch into next year. With team-driven focuses, innovative leadership styles and the ability to adapt to new industry norms, Lucid Motors’ Director of Financial Services Amira Aly, Stellantis Financial Services Chief Executive Tommy Moore Jr. and Head of Wells Fargo Auto Tanya Sanders are just getting started as they continue their executive journeys.
Amira Aly: Designing a whole new auto finance experience
Amira Aly might just have the hardest job in auto finance. It’s also one of the newest jobs in auto finance.
Aly is tasked with building Lucid Motors’ auto finance operation. From scratch. Without just slotting in a business model already in use. Oh, and only two people were on her team as of October 2021.
See, Lucid is a new electric-vehicle company, and Aly, as its first director of financial services, is bringing the same entrepreneurial vibe to Lucid’s still-under-development captive.
“Every use case for our vehicle is on the table,” Aly said at the recent Auto Finance Summit.
But where to begin? Aly came to Lucid in March 2021 with a blank canvas. She knew only that Lucid would start delivering its new 500-plus-mile-range EVs later in 2021 (the first was, in fact, delivered in October). Should she start with operations, technology or something else?
“It’s that whole digital consumer finance journey that we’re building, but it doesn’t stop just from the time that you reserve the vehicle,” Aly said. “It is how this continues to evolve, that you’re actually creating meaningful touchpoints through the ownership, right? So, it’s not just when you finance the contract, right? It’s not a transaction. It’s after that: How can you continue to engage the customer?”
And that’s the platform Aly and her team are working to create — that experience.
Aly came to Lucid with a host of experience, having spent significant time working in auto finance at Capital One, Ally Financial and JPMorgan Chase. She also has Lucid’s deep pockets at her disposal, considering the electric-vehicle manufacturer’s market capitalization equaled about $67 billion in early November.
“It goes to beyond that, you continue to talk to the customer,” she said. “You continue to anticipate when they are coming back to you; you continue to deliver meaningful messages. It’s an engagement strategy. And that’s how I look at it. I’m not designing just loans and leases … I’m designing a whole journey for my customers.”
We’ll watch intently what Aly designs in 2022 — and beyond.
–By JJ Hornblass
Tommy Moore Jr: Paving the way for Stellantis Financial
When it was announced in September that Stellantis NV would acquire subprime lender First Investors Financial Services, Chief Executive Tommy Moore Jr. relished the opportunity to expand the business that he had built from the ground up as the OEM’s first official captive.
Moore co-founded First Investors in 1989, and has served as chief executive for 32 years. Now, as CEO at the newly renamed Stellantis Financial Services, Moore is positioned to usher the captive’s portfolio through unprecedented growth.
“Our leadership strategy for the foreseeable future is to expand the solid foundation that we have created the past 32 years, and make sure our foundation is rock solid going forward to support our growth,” Moore told Auto Finance News. “As we roll out numerous product offerings to Stellantis dealers, our focus is to provide a high-touch, frictionless experience to all dealers and consumers.”
For a glimpse into the growth potential of the newly minted captive, the industry can look to the portfolios of Ford Motor Credit and GM Financial. First Investors, as of June 30, had a managed portfolio of around $890 million, according to an S&P Global presale report of its August securitization. By comparison, Ford Credit’s outstandings totaled $79.9 billion in the third quarter, while GM Financial’s loan and lease outstandings totaled $87.1 billion in Q3, according to earnings reports.
What’s more, Stellantis’ vehicle sales are on par with those of Ford Motor Co. and General Motors, paving the way for exponential growth at Stellantis Financial Services. Stellantis sold 410,917 units in Q3 while Ford and General Motors sold 546,000 units and 446,997 units, respectively, according to the manufacturers’ earnings reports.
With Moore’s 30-plus years in the finance industry, he is well-positioned to steer the captive as it expands from its subprime roots into a new OEM and franchise dealership network. First Investors began as a company that prioritized the financing needs of its consumers and dealer partners, and now Moore will transfer that same focus into the captive’s business practices and growth strategies.
The AFN team, for one, is excited to follow the possibilities.
–By Whitney McDonald and Joey Pizzolato
Tanya Sanders: A dreamer and a doer for Wells Fargo Auto
Tanya Sanders has long been recognized in the auto finance world for her unfaltering leadership; diversity, equity and inclusion efforts; technology know-how; and for being a trailblazer for women in the industry. In July, she added another achievement to her already impressive resume: head of auto at Wells Fargo.
Sanders is described as a “dreamer and a doer” by her employees, she told AFN. With more than 23 years of experience, Sanders’ past leadership roles at Chase Auto, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America forged her path to Wells Fargo in 2019.
From there, Sanders, as head of the lender’s auto underwriting and fulfillment team — and later, as head of auto transformation — placed an emphasis on automation and innovation that no doubt has contributed to Wells Fargo’s portfolio growth in 2021. In fact, Wells’ auto book has increased 13% to $54.5 billion from yearend 2020 to Q3, despite inventory headwinds and increased competition in the market.
The improved performance is credited first and foremost to the Wells Fargo Auto team, Sanders said. “Despite navigating a number of changes throughout the pandemic, the team has worked together to continue to serve dealers and consumers with their auto financing needs,” she said.
Beyond human capital, the investment in technology made it “easier for customers to do business with us” since the pandemic hit, Sanders said. Automation increased the speed of application response time, and the lender’s partnership with fintech AutoFi helped the lender reach more consumers as its website improved customer self-service options.
Looking forward to 2022, Wells Fargo externally will continue to focus on increasing and measuring its efficiencies through automation and new technologies, Sanders told AFN. The lender will accomplish this by monitoring the actual progress of automation rates and strategies and asking whether it is delivering the outcomes it’s investing in, Sanders said at the Auto Finance Summit.
Wells Fargo Auto plans to closely watch its competition throughout the next year while focusing on growth beyond indirect lending, leaning on the bank’s franchise in its entirety, Sanders said at the Summit. “We have a significant opportunity to leverage the customer base that we have within Wells Fargo, and create an experience for direct car shopping for those Wells Fargo customers,” she said.
In the coming year, Sanders will pass the baton to a new leader to co-chair the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council for the bank, but she recognizes there is still more work to do. “I’ll continue to pursue my passion for inclusion and development of diverse talent in our industry through my leadership of the Women’s Leadership Council for AFSA,” she said.
As Wells Fargo continues its transformation under new leadership, its “goal is to be a trusted and valued partner for our dealers and be top of mind for customers throughout their car ownership journey,” Sanders said.
–By Whitney McDonald