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Ally and Fair Announce Strategic Alliance

April 11, 2018

Detroit-based Ally Financial Inc. has announced a new agreement with Fair, the digital used-vehicle retailer helmed by TrueCar founder Scott Painter. Photo by V8americanpower via Wikimedia Commons
Detroit-based Ally Financial Inc. has announced a new agreement with Fair, the digital used-vehicle retailer helmed by TrueCar founder Scott Painter. Photo by V8americanpower via Wikimedia Commons

DETROIT — Ally Financial Inc. and Fair today announced a strategic relationship in which Fair will use Ally’s SmartAuction as a remarketing solution for its returned cars and offer consumers flexible car financing powered by Ally’s Clearlane program.

Under the agreement, vehicles returned to Fair as a result of a customer exiting a Fair agreement will be listed on Ally’s digital wholesale auto auction, SmartAuction, as a remarketing option. Additionally, Southern California dealers using Ally’s Clearlane — a multilender digital financing platform — will be able to use Fair’s mobile application to help consumers who don’t qualify for traditional financing or want more flexibility, executives said.

The companies are also exploring options to expand the agreement nationwide later this year, which would further enable Fair’s mission to provide flexible access to mobility for all consumers — even if they have less-than-perfect or nonexistent credit.

“Fair is a leader in the evolution of used vehicle financing and we’re thrilled to work with such a trailblazer to support a flexible solution for the benefit of both consumers and dealers,’’ said Tim Russi, president of auto finance for Ally. “We see this as a starting point for our companies to work together and are engaged in exploratory discussions on several other fronts to expand our relationship.”

Fair is an app designed to allow customers to locate and select a pre-owned car entirely on their phone, with the ability to turn it in any time. Customers can shop from a wide variety of Fair’s dealer partners in the app and scan their license to see if they are pre-qualified for a range of monthly payments. If approved, they can sign for their car with their finger, pick up their keys, and keep the car for as long as they want, all according to the provider.

When a vehicle is returned by a customer, Fair gives the dealer that originated the transaction the first right to buy it back. If the dealer doesn’t purchase the car, Fair will make it available to other dealers on SmartAuction, beginning this month. Fair will also provide dealers with a flexible financing alternative for consumers leveraging Ally’s Clearlane platform. Ally launched Clearlane in April 2017 to help connect consumers with leading auto finance providers online.

“Our vision for the program is to complement our dealer business by helping them close deals and provide consumers with access to a vehicle they might not have been able to get otherwise,” Russi said.

This is the latest strategic alliance for Fair. In January, it began a partnership with Uber that provides its ride-share drivers in the U.S. with flexible access to vehicles through Fair via the Uber app. Fair also acquired the active lease portfolio of Uber’s subsidiary, Xchange Leasing, which includes existing lease contracts and vehicles. In February, Fair acquired certain assets of vehicle-delivery app, Skurt, as part of its plan to quickly scale a cost-effective platform for vehicle delivery, pick-up, and fleet management.

“As Fair scales nationwide after our successful launch throughout California, it’s important that we continue to find efficient ways to automate our processes, ideally through mutually beneficial alliances with proven industry leaders like Ally,” said Scott Painter, Fair’s founder and CEO. “SmartAuction will be an important remarketing channel for Fair, while Clearlane will serve as the ultimate win-win for dealers and customers alike. Combined, these two programs are just the beginning of what we can accomplish with Ally as we broaden our relationship going forward.”

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