GM Financial, the captive finance arm of General Motors that handles direct financing and leasing, ranked above average in the mass market and last among luxury brands in the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study.
The study measures overall customer satisfaction in five different factors: the billing and payment process, mobile app experience, onboarding process, origination process, and website experience. The 10,103 customers that were chosen for the study had financed a new or used vehicle through a loan or lean sometime in the past three years. Their responses were then used to calculate a score out of 1,000 points for each lending company. The study ran from July to August of 2020.
In the mass market sector, GM Financial scored 859 points, placing it well above segment average of 850 points. GMF ranked just one point below Bank of America and two above Chase Automotive Finance. BB&T, now Truist, came in first place with 879 points, Capital One Auto Finance and Ford Credit tied for second with 870 points each, while Honda Financial Services came in third with 866 points. Santander Auto Finance placed last with 801 points.
In the luxury sector, GM Financial did not fare as well, placing well below segment average. Lincoln Automotive Financial Services took first with 899 points, followed by Capital One Auto Finance with 885 points. The segment average was 866 points, but GMF tied for last place with Acura Financial Services, placing last with 849 points.
One of the key takeaways from the study is that more customers are using digital methods to acquire an auto loan. This trend was further accelerated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Patrick Roosenberg, director of automotive finance intelligence at J.D. Power, believes that this behavior will continue even when the pandemic is over as customers are more satisfied with the digital process.
“The pandemic accelerated a trend toward digital auto loan origination that has been developing for some time,” Roosenberg said. “Many buyers who have secured financing digitally had a great experience and won’t go back to the old way of doing things – even when COVID-19 is no longer a factor. To improve satisfaction and lower the cost to serve during these changing times and beyond, providers need to build a robust digital platform that addresses borrower needs, from research and origination through account management and billing.”