F&I and Showroom Supplements


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process development." This year, Ally is adding 200 salespeople and underwriters to help bolster its 6.78 percent share of the auto fnance market, as well as help it increase its hold on other markets like the recreation vehicle segment — where it owns 5 percent of the market — and highline luxury through its relationship with Maserati. "Ally has a unique opportunity," explains Tim Russi, president of Ally Auto Finance. "We're singularly focused on the auto fnance business in the United States. There's nobody else that can claim that, and we bring the best team in the auto fnance industry." The mission this year, as it has been since the company's founding in 1919, is to help dealers sell more vehicles and generate higher revenues. In recent years, the company has done that through its Ally Blueprint for Dealer Growth program for F&I operations, innovative fnancial services products like its Ally's Buyer Choice, and its SmartAuction online wholesale auction platform. This year, the company is adding to those highly successful support products and services by bolstering its training services and helping dealers take advantage of the 24 million leads it delivers annually. Capturing In-Market Customers The mood at this year's NADA Convention and Expo in Orlando, Fla., was as good as it's been in the last fve years. In fact, a sur- vey Ally conducted at the convention revealed that nearly 60 percent of the 100 dealers it polled expect their sales to grow by more than 10 percent this year. Whether that expectation is realized will depend on consumer confdence, which 54 percent of survey respondents said will be a key factor to sustaining sales momentum. There were other factors driving optimism at this year's NADA convention: Auto fnance is back, the average age of vehicles on the road today is at an historic high, the housing market is rebounding and product is on target — factors the NADA's Paul Taylor cited when he offered his 15.3 million-unit sales prediction for this year. According to Bandon, Ore.-based CNW Research, consumers are ready to come out of their recessioninduced constrained spending mode. But car purchases will have to compete against a slew of other items consumers didn't purchase through the Great Recession, which really puts the focus on how dealers market and communicate with consumers. Ally's Kathy Ruble demonstrates the company's new web-based Performance Development Center. The good news is consumers are already budgeting 3 percent more for a vehicle purchase. Ally is doing its part to help dealers capture the business with its Relationship Management Center, a webbased lead-generation system that doubles as a professional marketing fulfllment service. For dealers, that means giving them the ability to create Ally cobranded direct mail pieces as well as email campaigns. They can also create customized campaigns. Kathy Ruble, Ally's director of alliance sales, performance and development, says the service is designed to help dealers take advantage of the two million leads Ally funnels to the market every month. Dealers can also input their own customer list and create campaigns leveraging Ally's brand name. And according to Ruble, once created, mailers can be distributed within 24-48 hours. The system also offers reporting tools designed to measure open rates, spot bad e-mails and more. Ruble, however, says there's another reason Ally is excited about introducing its Pictured is Pat McGrath, dealer principal of Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based McGrath Automotive Group.

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