Credit Unions Communicate Their Value at NADA Convention

Did the 2005 Mustang in Sunday's Super Bowl get you excited about your auto lending program? NADA's Convention last week provided that same jolt of inspiration for participating credit unions.


More than 50 credit union representatives from across the country demonstrated the industry’s commitment to working with auto dealerships to increase business for both parties last week at the National Automobile Dealers Association’s annual convention in New Orleans. Convention attendance topped 28,000, providing numerous opportunities for credit unions to interact with dealers and other key partners in the auto business at the “America’s Credit Unions” booth, which was organized by Credit Union Direct Lending.

Presenting the Credit Union Perspective
Through both planned meetings and spontaneous conversations with dealers, credit unions were able to present the value they bring to the auto financing business. In a highly competitive $750 billion market, demonstrating this difference and what it means for dealers and their customers is critical. One credit union attendee stated, “We’re not heavily involved in indirect lending but the auto lending business is so core to our industry that we believe we need to be at events like this to provide our perspective and emphasize our role.”

This was the second year that credit unions have had an industry presence at the convention, and dealer reaction to the credit union booth shifted from curiosity in 2004 to a recognized business partner in 2005. With a 17% national share of the auto financing market and nearly 1,400 credit unions nationwide involved in indirect lending, a 40% increase over the past two years, credit unions’ impact on this business is greater than any other they compete in.

Gaining Insight into the Auto Business
The convention provided not only networking opportunities on the exhibit hall floor, but also an education about competitors and potential partners for the credit unions that attended. Competitors such as Bank of America, Chase, HSBC, Wachovia, and captive finance companies all had a presence at the show. Companies that provide information on the auto industry such as Experian, Chrome Systems, Polk, and Wards, as well as auctions such as Manheim and ADESA gave attendees the ability to learn how they could enhance their knowledge of and effectiveness in the business. As one credit union CEO commented, “The attendees at this conference are focused on getting business done, not just walking the floor.”

Beyond the interaction in the exhibit hall, the convention provided educational sessions that provided credit unions with the dealers’ perspective on the business, with topics ranging from “The Hispanic Opportunity” and “How to Effectively Capture the Sub-Prime Market” to “Perfecting the F&I Process” and “Roadmap to Internet Sales and Profits”.

With credit unions holding nearly $160 billion in auto loans, representing 38% of the industry’s loan portfolio, gaining a greater understanding of this business is critical to future success. Interacting with dealers, competitors and industry providers gave the credit union attendees deeper insight into the automobile marketplace. When the convention is held in Orlando in 2006, credit unions will have the opportunity to make further inroads into this core business.




Feb. 7, 2005


  • Good recap of NADA convention and thanks for not having the article read like an ad for CUDL.