2021 Auto Trends and Opportunities: 5 Ways Credit Unions Can Drive Lending

The pandemic has already had a significant impact on the auto and auto finance industry, and it’s likely these effects will linger for a while. Social distancing guidelines mean consumers are staying at home, spending less time on dealership lots and more time online on third-party and contactless vehicle delivery sites.

Though new car sales are down and expected to be flat compared with recent years, dealerships are offering extremely generous financing incentives to move inventory. And while used car values typically decline during a recession, as the economy rebounds, consumers will likely seek out used vehicles as a more affordable alternative to new vehicle purchases.

How can credit unions take advantage of current auto trends and prepare for what’s to come? Below, Strategic Link partner, Harland Clarke, shares five ways credit unions can reach today’s consumers and deliver what they need:

  1. Offer preapprovals early (and often).
    Proactive, pre-approved auto loan offers delivered in a multichannel campaign not only help ensure your credit union is top-of-mind the moment a consumer needs an auto loan, but they also foster a positive customer experience.
  2. Maximize digital branding and offer awareness campaigns.
    Identify auto buyers early in their research phase and brand your credit union as a trusted provider of an easy loan process. Consumers typically don’t enjoy the process of financing, so promote the benefits of taking care of that in advance.
  3. Engage trigger-based pre-approvals.
    There’s no better indication of intent than a customer requesting to have their credit
    run for a new auto loan. A proactive contact center phone call can help ensure you reach the customer with your offer in time to be considered.
  4. Provide financial education.
    Younger buyers, especially millennials, value companies that offer educational resources to help them make smart financial decisions. Educating them on the ins and outs of vehicle financing will help position your credit union as a top-of-mind favorite when it comes time to signing on the dotted line.
  5. Streamline the digital experience.
    Online and mobile auto loan applications optimized for a seamless experience are essential to capturing more auto loans. For starters, think of intuitive, helpful use of autofill; conditional fields based on previously entered information; data validation that ensures correct and accurate application information; and digital capture of drivers licenses and other documentation for a paperless journey.

Credit unions can download Harland Clarke’s full white paper, Trends and Opportunities in Auto Lending, to learn more.

Want more information about Harland Clarke? Visit its Strategic Link partner page or contact the Strategic Link team.