WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Dealer satisfaction has increased in all finance provider areas for the second consecutive year, with product offering contributing to increases in satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study released today.

Overall dealer satisfaction with prime retail credit lenders was 890 on a 1,000-point scale, an increase of 5 points from 2012. Retail leasing satisfaction was 896, up 5 points from 2012. Floor planning satisfaction increased the most among the three award-eligible lending areas, climbing 11 points from 2012 to 924 in 2013.

Increased adoption of such process innovations as e-contracting, combined with improvements to dealer support and a solid product offering, contributed to satisfaction increases. The study finds that 30 percent of lenders offer dealers such options, with 39 percent of dealers who are using these options indicating they will give more business to their e-contracting lender.  

BMW Financial Services ranked highest in leasing and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services ranked highest in floor planning, both for a second year in a row. In prime retail credit, Alphera Financial Services ranked highest in dealer satisfaction.

"In addition to more improved services, competition and new entrants into the market provide dealers with more choices and product innovations," said Michael Buckingham, senior director of the auto finance practice at J.D Power. "This combination also creates a highly competitive marketplace for dealers to select their finance provider and increase vehicle sales."  

Although satisfaction in the auto financing industry is improving, the study found that sales representative excellence, organizational speed and efficiency, and service excellence separated the lenders with average satisfaction scores from those with high scores.

"Indirect auto finance lending is a relationship business between dealer and lender," Buckingham said. "A customer-focused staff is a cornerstone for success."

To view the full study, click here.