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Web Exclusive: GMAC Insurance
Opens Up About Recent Moves

September 28, 2010

With the auto finance unit of the Ally Financial hitting its stride, F&I and Showroom magazine decided to find out how GMAC Insurance is faring these days. Gregory Arroyo, the magazine’s executive editor, went one-on-one recently with Tom Callahan, the executive heading up the company’s global insurance operations. As you’ll read, the business unit has evolved, but its dealer strategy remains intact.

Arroyo: Talk about the changes at GMAC Insurance so far.

Callahan: Well, back in 2008, we sold our reinsurance operations to Maiden Holdings Inc. In February, we finalized the sale of our personal-lines group to America Capital [Acquisition Corp.]. So, now we’re left with dealer products and services and the international space. And just recently, we consolidated both [units] under me, so I’ll have responsibility for all of our insurance products worldwide.

Arroyo: Has the strategy changed?

Callahan: I think our focus moving forward will continue to be on auto and the auto finance experience, as well as the products that support those. And we’ve said very clearly that the dealer will remain our top customer in terms of providing the products and services to help them be more successful.

We also remain closely integrated with the auto finance side, which allows us to leverage dealer relationships to really try and build across all the products and services that we offer a dealer, not just in the insurance space, but in the finance space and the remarketing space with our SmartAuction product.

Arroyo: So, will GMAC Insurance be adopting the Ally name?

Callahan: The long-term strategy is to convert that at some point, but we have some other things we need to get done before we’re able to get that accomplished. Not sure if you know this, but the GMAC Insurance name is really just a label for the insurance organization. Basically, it’s the name of the holding company that supports the insurance operations. So, changes will be coming down the road.

Arroyo: With GM looking to create a captive out of AmeriCredit, how do you see that impacting your operation?

Callahan: The reality is that, today, a majority of our insurance products are either financed by somebody other than Ally or they’re not financed at all. So, if someone chooses to finance through AmeriCredit, the dealer will still have the option to sell our products and finance them through AmeriCredit.

Our belief is that our structure allows us to bring our products to a broader spectrum of finance sources. If someone wants to pay cash and they don’t want to use their credit card, we can accommodate that as well.

We think we will continue to have a strong relationship with GM. As for AmeriCredit, we think, from an insurance standpoint, we’re well positioned to work with them or any other source.

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