Zero percent financing.
These three simple words have complicated the lives of many credit
union executives when it comes to securing automobile loans. Traditionally,
auto loans make up 40 percent of an average credit union portfolio.
Today, protecting (and growing) that part of the business is ''Job
1'' for credit union loan officers forced to compete with aggressive
manufacturer incentives that lead members to dealer lots - and F&I
Recently, the world's largest credit union, Navy Federal, made
an aggressive move of its own to stay competitive in automobile
loans by developing a partnership with Enterprise Car Sales, a division
of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, an automotive leader with more than 500,000
vehicles and nearly five decades of industry experience. The partnership
gives credit union members direct and online access to Enterprise
certified used vehicles nationwide, and guarantees that Navy Federal
receives all financing for Enterprise vehicles purchased by members.
Enterprise calls this its ''100 percent promise,'' guaranteeing
that when a credit union sends members to Enterprise for a used
vehicle purchase, the credit union receives 100 percent of the loans,
100 percent of the time. This boosts not only loan volume but member
satisfaction as well, said John Peden, executive vice president
of consumer operations at Navy Federal.
''In this competitive environment, we must be aggressive
in seeking and expanding partnerships that will help grow our
business, while enhancing the goal of providing members easy and
affordable access to credit, including auto loans. This program
with Enterprise Car Sales empowers us to do that,'' Peden
said. ''We are providing our members with convenient access
to a wide range of competitively priced, quality certified used
vehicles across the country that we know Navy Federal will finance
exclusively. That's good business in any environment, but definitely
Navy Federal's 2.2 million members can easily locate Enterprise
certified used cars, trucks, SUVs and vans nationwide by calling
a toll-free number. They also use a specially designed co-branded
Web site to locate vehicles and apply for financing from Navy Federal.
All of this happens in real time, allowing members the opportunity
to communicate directly with Enterprise representatives and request
Navy Federal is not alone in recognizing the benefits that come
with an Enterprise partnership. Numerous credit unions across the
country have come to value the various partnership ''perks''
that help keep car buying opportunities top of mind among members
and, thus, increase the likelihood of loan applications, such as:
- Special one-day, members-only car sale events, where credit
union members get to view vehicles in a private setting
- Exclusive car buying seminars for credit union staff and members
- Educational talks about vehicle trends
- Informative articles for credit union membership newsletters.
''We are committed to developing creative, tailored
programs for our credit union partners that will generate more
loans, optimize earnings and strengthen member loyalty,''
said Mary Mahoney, Enterprise's assistant vice president of
referral car sales. ''We value our credit union partnerships
and look forward to creating new ways to serve their members.''
Enterprise offers more than 60 makes and models of vehicles and
guarantees that pricing on all of its vehicles are at or below Kelly
Blue Book or NADA retail. Each Enterprise vehicle is rigorously
tested by an ASE-certified master technician and includes a 12-month/12,000-mile
limited powertrain warranty and a seven-day/1,000-mile repurchase
policy if members have a change of heart. The vehicles are also
covered by a one-year roadside assistance program provided by AAA