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Pictured is Ed Barlow, owner and president of Delran, N.J.-based Barlow Chevrolet. Ally continues to expand its channel base. In 2012, Mitsubishi Motors North America selected the company as its preferred provider of leasing and ﬁ nancing. and why it has introduced innovative products like its Ally Balloon Advantage, Ally Buyer's Choice and SmartLease Protect, products aimed at helping dealers close more deals. The goal, Russi says, is simple: He wants his company to be even closer to its dealer customers, a strategy many fnance sources have adopted. In recent years, fnance sources have moved away from competing on price alone. Instead, they are looking to differentiate themselves from the Florida dealer Jim Arrigo is a member of Ally's exclusive Champions Club. competition by offering other services and benefts in exchange for a bulk of a dealership's total business. That was the thinking behind Ally's Dealer Rewards program. Introduced more than two years ago, it provides special incentives the more an eligible dealer leverages Ally's products and services. Currently, about 5,500 of Ally's dealers are using four or more of the company's offerings. Florida dealer Jim Arrigo is one such dealer. His Arrigo Automotive Group, a family owned and operated business, allows Ally to get frst crack at every deal originating out of his fve dealerships in Fort Pierce, Tamarac and West Palm Beach, Fla. Arrigo also takes advantage of the company's commercial fnancing offerings and sources used vehicles from Ally's SmartAuction platform, where about 1,200 cars are sold each day. So far in 2013, more than 50 different makes have been sold on SmartAuction. Arrigo's operation also is a member of Ally's Champions Club, an exclusive group of top-performing dealers who retain wholesale foorplans with Ally. "The relationship between the f- nancial provider and the dealer is the most important relationship in any automotive business, and Ally understands that," says Arrigo, whose F&I operation also uses Ally's F&I products. "And everything from net proft to the programs that they offer to be able to sell more cars, that's the key to this whole relationship. "One thing I can say about Ally is that they never let a tool go by or a process go by that we should have known about," he adds. Dealers like Ed Barlow, owner and president of Delran, N.J.-based Barlow Chevrolet, are also experiencing the Ally difference. "Whether it's on the retail side, the commercial side or the lending side, Ally has been a true ally to my business," he says. Asked to characterize the Ally difference, Muir breaks it down this way: "We are successful when our dealers are successful, which is why our business model is, as we like to say, a dealer-centric business model. We're focused on providing dealers with the products and services they need to be successful. And our competitive advantage is we have one of the broadest set of products and services in the marketplace, which we couple with an unmatched operating platform to deliver those solutions to our customers."