Press Release (ePRNews.com) - HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. - Jan 17, 2017 - GrooveCar, the nation’s leading online auto buying resource for credit unions, looks back at a year filled with tremendous growth, a new auto buying resource and marketing programs designed to help credit unions succeed at capturing loans. Nationally, credit unions have experienced a very good year, narrowing the competition gap with banks on many fronts (1). Better service and the ability to attract younger people were some of the key reasons for growth. “Credit unions are positioned to meet member needs with programs and financial services required for growth. GrooveCar’s auto buying platform and lead generation service provided the tools necessary to capture the car buying interests of members during this historic year of auto buying volume,” explains Frank Rinaudo, Senior Vice President, GrooveCar.
New car purchases were up in 2016 with total vehicle sales at 18.43 million (2) at year end, an increase of 3.1% over 2015. This reflected the need to put more consumers into vehicles as the upward buying trend continued into its seventh straight year. Credit union auto loan portfolios grew as well, increasing 16.3% during the last year (3). Helping to facilitate growth, buyers were driven by low gas prices, rising employment and low interest rates. Consumers hit the Internet as the leading source of information for all things automotive in 2016, 88% of buyers starting the process online (4). GrooveCar mirrored this growth providing a new, highly responsive online platform to serve member preferences. GrooveCar reported use of its online services was up 250% over 2015. “Experiencing this level of growth is unprecedented in most industries. However, we knew we had the winning recipe with a new online automotive shopping and research platform that is both innovative and customizable while providing modern marketing support for our credit unions,” states Robert O’Hara, Vice President of Strategic Alliances, GrooveCar.
Looking back at 2016, the programs that helped shape the growth initiatives for GrooveCar’s credit unions included: The launch of the new auto-buying website, the refinance calculator feature to help credit unions capture loans lost to competitors, the incentive feature allowing members to take advantage of automotive deals from both their credit union and local dealerships, new website features provided a platform for credit unions to promote directly to members with special pricing from their preferred dealer networks, expanded video marketing and member messaging through customized marketing collateral built into the program.
As 2017 begins to unfold, there are many more enhancements that will be rolled out this year. “As we anticipate a double-digit growth year ahead, our strategy includes expansion plans in several areas. This includes, but is not limited to, adding more staff, introducing new design and functionality features to the program, more customization and lead generation tools while adding more value to the mobile design platform,” explains O’Hara. Although the platform has been mobile responsive since its launch in February 2016, additional features will be added to exceed the digital trends taking place in mobile website design. “Our goal is to not only accommodate user preferences but surpass them as well.” Nearly 60% of the total car buying process takes place entirely on the Internet, coupled with 90% of research happening online before they enter a dealership. “Members are on the go and the entire process needs to be available to them while being super responsive,” O’Hara adds.
(1) Trans Union
(2) Trading Economics
(3) CUNA Mutual Group
(4) Cox Automotive
Founded in 1999, GrooveCar provides automotive loan growth solutions to credit unions nationwide while providing their members, as well as the general public, with the most informative and user-friendly auto search engine. With its expansive dealership network surpassing five million vehicles, GrooveCar facilitates the entire car buying process, including shopping, researching, buying, leasing, and financing. Through the national auto-leasing program CU Xpress Lease, credit unions can take advantage of leasing opportunities in the new and pre-owned vehicle market. CU Xpress is the leading credit union lease program in the nation. Additional information on GrooveCar or CU Xpress Lease may be found at http://www.groovecarinc.com.
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