McLean, VA - In an address to banking executives, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) today called on the auto finance industry to recognize the need for greater transparency and continuing education to build consumer trust. "We must make sure that everyone - and not just the most creditworthy among us - is treated in an open and honest manner," said NADA Director and Past Chairman Alan Starling, in a keynote address at the Consumer Bankers Association 's (CBA) Automobile Finance Conference & Trade Show in Atlanta. "If we can do that, then we can certainly increase customer satisfaction with the entire process."
Starling's remarks echo the call for industry progress on auto finance education made by 2004 NADA Chairman Charley Smith during his speech at the association's convention in February. Smith said, "We are the retail face to much of the auto finance industry. We have helped provide millions of car loans to people who otherwise might not have been able to purchase a car. And by continuing to build trust with the customer, we will continue to provide convenient and competitive financing."
As part of an initiative to raise consumer awareness about the auto financing process, Starling presented a $10,000 check during his speech to the Junior Achievement organization to assist its finance literacy programs schools. NADA has also taken several other steps to raise consumer awareness about auto financing. The NADA Board of Directors voted last month to support disclosure that a dealership may receive a portion of the finance charge or other compensation for helping to obtain financing, and that the finance rate may be negotiable.
In addition, NADA and the American Financial Services Association, in cooperation with the Federal Trade Commission, have produced a consumer education brochure entitled "Understanding Vehicle Financing." The brochure has been distributed to consumers at dealerships nationwide. It is available on the NADA and AFSA websites, www.nada.org and www.afsaef.org. NADA is also working to educate dealers through a new finance training video to help them consistently meet the highest business standards and strictly comply with the law.