PLANO, Texas — Capital One has named Kevin Borgmann as the new president of its auto finance unit. A 10-year veteran of the company, Borgmann brings experience from Capital One’s corporate strategy, Internet and credit card units as well as several years of work on the consulting side.
In an exclusive interview with F&I and Showroom, Borgmann shared his goals for Capital One Auto Finance in 2011 and beyond.
F&I: Can you tell us about your professional background and your experience with Capital One to this point?
Borgmann: I started my career in management consulting, helping companies learn how to grow their businesses and satisfy customers. I joined Capital One in 2001. Since then, I have taken roles spanning the corporate strategy group to the credit card business, including leading Internet acquisitions, partnerships and the prime card business.
F&I: How did your experience on the credit card side help prepare you for auto finance?
Borgmann: While there are obviously many differences, there are some similarities. Working on the credit card side means having a good grasp of consumer credit and that is also key to building a sustainable auto business.
F&I: We recently profiled a Colorado dealer who credited joining your Diamond Dealer program with helping to allow him to grow his special finance operation. Will you be signing more dealers to the program in 2011? If so, what type of dealer will you be looking for, and what type of customers will you be financing?
Borgmann: As you know, the Diamond Dealer program is about building relationships with a subset of dealers and offering those dealers exclusive benefits. Going into 2011, we would like to continue to build on that. The most basic qualification for the program is being committed to a relationship with Capital One. And, like any relationship, you need to build it from both sides.
F&I: If we can assume that building that relationship includes putting the right customer in the right car, are you concerned that customers will fall back into the habit of buying more car than they can afford? If so, how much responsibility do you feel the dealer and lender bear for preventing that?
Borgmann: Everyone in the process plays a part. The customer should focus on a car they can afford and the dealer should do the same. As for the lenders, we must lend prudently, and we take that responsibility very seriously.
F&I: At the magazine, we often preach the importance of selling F&I products such as service contracts, especially for used-vehicle sales. Is that a consideration on the lending side?
Borgmann: We recognize the economics of the dealer’s business: Dealers make profits on the back end, and customers value those products. We set up our programs to accommodate that.
F&I: We learned from Experian Automotive’s 3Q2010 auto finance report that Capital One enjoyed a gain in market share from the year-ago quarter, especially on the new-vehicle side. Moving forward, will your focus be on building and rebuilding relationships with dealers or continuing to grow your market share?
Borgmann: Market share is important, and the Diamond Dealer program certainly helped drive that success in 2010. But we don’t view it as an either/or. Our focus is on building those great relationships, providing those dealers with exclusive benefits, and allowing those benefits to drive value to the customer as well. If we do that well, the market share will come.