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BMW, Ford and Hyundai Rank Highest in Consumer Financing Satisfaction, Says J.D. Power and Associates

December 4, 2008

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — BMW Financial Services, Ford Credit and Hyundai Motor Finance Company each rank highest in their respective segments in satisfying customers with the new-vehicle financing process, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study.

The study, now in its 13th year, measures customer satisfaction with the new-vehicle financing process and examines the intentions, priorities, influences and preferences of new-vehicle buyers and lessees. Four factors are examined to determine customer satisfaction with automotive finance providers: application approval process; customer contact; payment/billing process; and provider offering.

Luxury Loan Segment Rankings

BMW Financial Services ranks highest in the luxury loan segment with a score of 860 on a 1,000-point scale, performing particularly well in three factors driving satisfaction: application approval process; finance provider offering; and payment/billing process. GMAC (798) and Honda Financial Services (792) follow BMW Financial Services in the segment.

Luxury Lease Segment Rankings

For a second consecutive year, BMW Financial Services (786) ranks highest in the luxury lease segment, performing particularly well in payment/billing process. Ford Credit follows BMW Financial Services with 785, and Honda Financial Services ranks third with 781.

Non-Luxury Loan Segment Rankings

Performing well in finance provider offering, Hyundai Motor Finance Company ranks highest among non-luxury loan providers with 795. Ford Credit (786) and Mazda American Credit (780) follow in the segment.

Non-Luxury Lease Segment Rankings

Ford Credit ranks highest among non-luxury lease providers with 787, performing particularly well in the application approval process. Volkswagen Credit (780) and Honda Financial Services (772) follow Ford Credit in the rankings.

Other Study Findings

The study finds that involving customers in the finance provider selection process can lead to higher satisfaction with the lender, as well as to higher rates of intended loyalty and advocacy. Among customers who arrive at the dealership with a lender preference and use that lender to finance their new vehicle, overall satisfaction averages 837.

In addition, 48 percent of these customers indicate that they "definitely will" use the lender again and 50 percent say they "definitely will" recommend the lender to others. In contrast, satisfaction averages 746 among customers who intend to have the dealer work out financing arrangements for them. Only 22 percent of these customers say they "definitely will" use the lender again and 23 percent say they "definitely will" recommend the lender.

"Because customers who are more involved with the finance provider selection process tend to be more satisfied, it's essential for lenders to proactively communicate with existing customers and reach out to potential new customers," said Rich Howse, senior director of the automotive finance practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Satisfying customers contributes to increased levels of loyalty and advocacy—both of which can have a strong financial impact—and is particularly important amid the current uncertain economic environment.'

The study also finds that Internet use among new-vehicle buyers to research financing options has increased to 64 percent of luxury customers and 55 percent of non-luxury customers. More than 30 percent of luxury-vehicle owners report that Internet research has a considerable impact on their finance provider selection, while 26 percent of non-luxury-vehicle owners say the same.

The 2008 Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 27,964 consumers who financed their new vehicle during the past five to seven months. The study was fielded between May and September 2008.

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