15 ways to light up more deals in December and beyond

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SC volunteers benefit Humanity through home-building project

SC volunteers at Habitat for Humanity project.

SC volunteers at Habitat for Humanity project.


Habitat for Humanity’s recent build in one south Dallas neighborhood fit the description.

Volunteers from Santander Consumer USA (SC) were part of a Habitat group erecting one of more than a dozen homes over several days in a part of town known as Joppa.

“Some worked on the homes; framing, installing windows, roofing, cleaning or helping in the kitchen to feed them, but each person had a goal, and it was a success!” according to Jordan B., one of several SC volunteers who worked in the project kitchen.

“It was an amazing experience to see hundreds of people working together to build a whole street,” said Meredith G., another SC volunteer.

121417 IL SC volunteers benefit Humanity through home-building project_LOGO“Watching everyone out there work for a common goal was inspiring,” said Jordan B.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that helps homeowners and communities build homes with the assistance of volunteers to improve the lives of the homeowners.

The SC group was working as part of the company’s Volunteer Paid Time Off (VPTO) program.  Through the program, the national auto lender encourages more than 5,000 employees to give back to their communities by participating in charitable events and activities.

Besides the volunteers, Habitat involves others in the community in their projects, which includes financial and other contributions from churches and businesses.



Calling all volunteers: Santander Consumer associates making a difference

Volunteer ‘Life Changers’ provide help to hungry families

In Joppa, for example, the organization provided local elementary schools large pieces of plywood for students to draw on and paint. The plywood boards were placed on the sides of the houses before Habitat building crews put siding on them.

“Each house has unique boards filled with so much love for our community,” said Jennifer H.

The VPTO program represents no small commitment by the lender, which is based in Dallas, TX, affording employees the opportunity to take a full workday off to help those in need and also benefit personally from the experience.

It’s a win-win situation that has worked very successfully for the auto lender and the organizations that benefit from the help they receive, with SC employees volunteering almost 10,000 hours in the first nine months of 2017. The program is so successful, in fact, that SC has doubled Associates’ annual VPTO allowance to two days.

“I have volunteered for Habitat for Humanity many times in the past, and I always leave with a positive experience and a positive outlook on our community,” said volunteer Jennifer H. “They really make our community a better place.”

But it wasn’t just Habitat for Humanity that created the volunteers’ enthusiasm.

“SC’s program is amazing!” said Jennifer H. “I feel very lucky to work for a company that allows its employees to do work in the community and help in a greater way.”

Jordan B. said simply, “It was a wonderful experience.”

Habitat volunteers at work in Joppa.

Habitat volunteers at work in Joppa.

How SC can help your dealership hit accelerator for tax season and beyond

Get ahead of the curve.

That means not waiting too long to start planning for tax season.

Although “the 13th month” between Christmas and New Year’s Day can put your team to the test, getting ready for what comes next is a key to starting 2018 on the right foot.

There are a lot of reasons that Santander Consumer USA (SC) should be a resource in that planning.

121217 IL How SC can help your dealership hit accelerator for tax season and beyond_BACKUP IMAGE

Here are the most important:

We’re hitting the accelerator in 2018 … which means we want your store’s business and will work harder than ever to earn it. If you’re not getting the results you want, just ask your area sales manager (ASM) – more on them later – how SC can help accelerate your business.

SC is a full-spectrum lender … Did you know that much of our business is done with credit scores over 600? That’s right, full spectrum. All we want is a chance to compete for your business.

We give you the tools to make more deals … SC’s direct mail program and revamped RoadLoans program both aim to drive more shoppers into your dealership, while the Dealer Extranet with Rehash Tool gives dealers the resources to originate, manage and finance more deals.

Here’s what a relationship with SC looks like during tax season and beyond:

  1. Competitive pricing across the credit spectrum.
  2. Funding in as little as one day with complete packages.
  3. Increased participation through SC’s enhanced program.
  4. Higher LTV/PTI allowances with higher FICOs.
  5. Fewer stips make it easier to submit more packages.
  6. The opportunity for more backend in some tiers.
  7. Fees decrease on better-quality packages in most cases.
  8. A better balance of business in your portfolio.
  9. Access 24/7 to our Dealer Extranet and powerful Rehash Tool.
  10. Access to our direct mailer program.

Of course, our team of ASMs (and regional sales managers) are knowledgeable auto-lending professionals who can help you navigate the process of securing more deals with SC across the credit spectrum, whether that involves assisting with setting up an account on the Dealer Extranet, explaining various other programs we provide or keeping an application on track with a buyer.

Before you know it, March, the high-water mark of tax season and one of the top three sales months of the year eight times in the past decade, will be here whether you’re ready or not.

It’s time to get ready.

Could car companies still eke out a sales record in 2017?

The short answer: Probably not.

It would take an all-time record of more than 1.9 million vehicles in December. And no industry analyst has suggested that is even a faint possibility.

The current monthly record, set more than a decade ago in July 2005, was 1.8 million vehicles.

Pickup trucks continue to help drive sales results.

Pickup trucks continue to help drive sales results.

While November sales of light vehicles exceeded November 2016, outpacing most analysts’ estimates, the margin was only 23,400 vehicles, or 1.393 million across all manufacturers.

And “solid but not spectacular” results won’t get it done in a year when most months had lower sales.

In fact, even if December matches sales in December of 2016, results would fall around 17.24 million, just under a quarter-million vehicles short of the 17.5 million record. This year’s results also would fall just short of 2015, when 17.4 million vehicles were sold.

A decline in sales would mark the first time that happens since the end of the Great Recession, and, unfortunately, some analysts suggest it’s the start of a longer slide in sales.

The National Automobile Dealers Association has predicted sales of 16.7 million next year, while AutoTrader.com and Kelley Blue Book anticipate sales of 16.6 million. Either way, that would represent a slide of about 800,000 vehicles from last year’s high-water mark.

“Stronger-than-forecast November vehicle sales are due to a healthy economy, a confident consumer who is ready to buy, and targeted incentives that help close the deals,” said Michelle Krebs, AutoTrader.com senior analyst on Benzinga.com. “The industry should enjoy the party now and through year end, because we believe there will be a hangover in January.”

Still, that leaves December, typically one of the strongest sales months of the year thanks to the Christmas holiday and week leading up to New Year’s Day.

And 1.9 million in sales has a nice ring to it.

No matter what color, this car is the greenest, says Green Car Journal

An event at the Los Angeles Auto Show brought Clarity to the 2018 Green Car of the Year competition, sponsored by Green Car Journal.

Specifically, the Honda Clarity, which rose above four other finalists for the win.

Green Car Journal, which awards the prize annually, presented the Clarity series of car the top honor for its appealing design and sophisticated, well-equipped, spacious interior, and because it was the only model to offer plug-in hybrid, electric and hydrogen fuel cell power.

The 2018 Honda Clarity – winner of Green Car of the Year award

The 2018 Honda Clarity – winner of Green Car of the Year award

“To its credit, Honda has now accomplished what no other automaker has – offering all three of these ‘green’ powertrains in a single model, with the capability of readily shifting production from one to another to meet future demand,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and GreenCarJournal.com.

Other finalists for the prize were the 2018 Toyota Camry, Nissan LEAF, Hyundai Ioniq and Honda Accord.

The magazine and website had called the five vehicles “models offering consumers varying ways to drive ‘green’ that fit their unique needs and sensibilities, and are readily available to the mass market.”


Three ‘remarkable’ vehicles – and the setup for car of the year

So you think used electrics, hybrids sell fast? It’s not your imagination

“The Green Car of the Year award is further validation of Honda’s approach to electrification with the Clarity family of vehicles,” said Steven Center, a vice president at American Honda. “It is a nod in the right direction to receive the award.”

The Clarity trio “offer the power of choice to consumers who want to step into the electrification game without being compromised,” said Center. “We are proud to deliver on that promise to offer these three advanced powertrains you can only find from Honda.”

“This year’s Green Car of the Year finalists reflect the continuing evolution of the automobile and the drive toward ever-greater environmental compatibility,” Cogan said previously.

During its selection process, the Green Car Journal jury and editors looked at all vehicles, fuels and technologies before narrowing the field of potential candidates to a final five “for their achievements in raising the bar in environmental performance.” Criteria included efficiency, performance characteristics, “newness,” affordability, availability to the mass market, and overall environmental achievement.

These two words have the power to remake your business

Dealer Extranet.

They are two powerful words in making deals with Santander Consumer USA (SC).

From the Rehash Tool, which provides the quickest possible turnaround time on new deal structures, to a customized dashboard that offers daily stats, notifications and reports on your deals with SC, the Dealer Extranet is a competitive tool that should be part of your everyday routine.
110917 IL First the holidays, and then what Santander Consumer has the answer

Those aren’t the only reasons, though, as our fall dealer email series, Tools to Power Sales, has shown.

“One of our greatest assets is our Dealer Extranet, especially for high-volume dealers,” said Stephen Rivelli, an area sales manager in New York.

“The ease of use and the multi-functionality of it, from rehashing an application to funding, allows my dealers a fast, user-friendly experience from application to funded. I stress the importance and use of the Extranet with all my dealers … [and] they usually see the light.”


First the holidays, and then what? Santander Consumer has the answer

How SC’s ‘full-spectrum’ lending program can benefit your dealership

Best practices that make the most of your opportunities to build sales

In fact, thousands of dealership sales associates already have recognized the value of the Extranet and use it to maximize their results with SC and to manage their businesses better.

You can make the site an integral part of your dealership’s routine by asking your ASM or an inside sales manager (ISM) to set up a new user login – or logins for multiple users at your store. Your ASM/ISM also can help you discover the many features the Extranet provides your activated account. Your ASM/ISM also is available to answer any questions that might arise or to reset your password.

When you’re set up on the Dealer Extranet, you can log in here and use it whenever you want. And put the power of the Dealer Extranet in your competitive arsenal.

And, in case you missed the 10 tips, here they are:

10 tips

for using

the Extranet


Make logging onto the Extranet part of your routine to enhance your deal-making capability with real-time access to information and systems that gets deals done.


Use your dealership’s customized dashboard to get daily stats and notifications on your deals, as well as reports and charts to give you a snapshot of your business with us.


Submit and manage all your Santander Consumer USA applications and view your decisions and call details in a single location.


Log in to the Dealer Extranet from your smart phone or tablet, giving you access to work your deals anytime or anyplace.


Use the Rehash Tool if you need to update the numbers or revise the type of vehicle being purchased by plugging in your new info and receiving a new structure in real time.


Uploading stips is a lot faster and easier with the Dealer Extranet – bypassing the hassle of faxing – and the stips go directly to the funder’s queue.


The Extranet will allow you to check the status of your deals in Funding and see if you need any additional documentation to complete your deals.


Print a purchase letter with the total funded amount for your deal and showing all applicable fees, participation and discounts.


Access the Dealer Resources section, a one-stop area for important documents a dealer needs to do business with Santander Consumer USA can be found there.


Ask your Area Sales Manager if you have questions on how to use or how to make the most of the Dealer Extranet and fund more deals.


New video shows how to make revamped RoadLoans work for you

New and improved.

The revamped RoadLoans Lead Exchange Program is rolling out now to provide incremental sales by putting dealers in control of their lead volume.

But it doesn’t matter if it’s better if you don’t know how to use it, right?

Well, that’s where our new video comes into play.


While it all starts with your Santander Consumer USA (SC) area sales manager, who must set up your user profile, learning to use the program is as easy as one, two, three:

  1. going to the Dealer Extranet
  2. following the step-by-step instructions in the video
  3. entering your settings – bid amount, max leads per day and mile radius from which you wish to receive leads

“We know time is money, so we made sure to create a user friendly Web portal,” explained Meredith Grossfeld, RoadLoans product marketing manager. “The video [below] shows that it only takes a few clicks on the computer to get started.”

Take the power of incremental sales in your hands, including improved quality leads, no subscriptions and a pay-as-you-go approach.

If you have questions after watching the video, please contact your area sales manager or email information@roadloans.com.

For more details on the program itself, see our infographic, Take Control, and “stack the deck” in your favor.

Three ‘remarkable’ vehicles – and the setup for car of the year

Three of a kind.

Truck of the year, performance car of the year and commercial car of the year, winners of Green Car Journal’s 2018 awards, were announced at the San Antonio (TX) Auto and Truck Show.

But manufacturers and dealers of a dozen other vehicles still have something to crow about.

Chosen from among five finalists in each category are:

Commercial Vehicle of the Year

The arresting Responder now available as hybrid.

The arresting Responder now available as hybrid.

  • Ford Police Responder Hybrid, the first pursuit-rated hybrid police car with performance attributes “important if you’re chasing the bad guys,” was selected the top light commercial vehicle in a Ford-dominated category, ahead of the company’s F-250 Super Duty and Transit Connect, as well as Mercedes-Benz Metris and Ram ProMaster City.

Truck of the Year

Earlier model of the truck of the year.

Earlier model of the truck of the year.

  • Chevrolet Colorado, a midsize pickup that offers “nearly the same capacity, functionality and features as this automaker’s full-size pickup,” landed this prize by beating the Ford F-150, GMC Canyon, Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tacoma, trucks “which have not lost their sense of purpose” while competing in one of the industry’s hottest sales categories.

Performance Car of the Year

The MX-5 Miata boldly goes …

The MX-5 Miata boldly goes …

  • Mazda MX-5 Miata, the extensively redesigned, fourth-generation, two-seat sports car introduced in 1990 – called “affordable, efficient and remarkable” – was named Green Car Journal’s first-ever performance car winner in a field that also comprised the Acura NSX, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang and Honda Civic Type R.

Green Car of the Year

The San Antonio announcements tee up Green Car Journal’s 2018 Green Car of the Year award at AutoMobility LA on Nov. 30 in Los Angeles, just prior to the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The magazine and website calls the five finalists – the Honda Accord and Clarity, Hyundai Ioniq, Nissan LEAF and Toyota Camry – “models offering consumers varying ways to drive ‘green’ that fit their unique needs and sensibilities, and are readily available to the mass market.”

During its vetting process, the Green Car Journal jury and editors looked at all vehicles, fuels and technologies before narrowing the field of potential candidates to a final five “for their achievements in raising the bar in environmental performance.” Criteria include efficiency, performance characteristics, “newness,” affordability, availability to the mass market and overall environmental achievement.

So you think used electrics, hybrids sell fast? It’s not your imagination

Here today, gone tomorrow.

If you sell used electric and hybrid vehicles that might apply to your inventory.

Six of the 10 vehicles that spend the least amount of time on your lot are electrics and hybrids, according to a study by the shopping website iSeeCars.com.

“These [electric and hybrid] cars are in great demand now,” said Phong Ly, iSeeCars.com’s CEO. Although you might imagine that this sort of demand would mean higher prices for used hybrid and electric vehicles, the website found that isn’t true.

Fiat 500e is the fastest-selling used car, study shows.

Fiat 500e is the fastest-selling used car, study shows.

While the average used vehicle takes almost five weeks (33.4 days) to sell, based on the website’s analysis of more than two million one- to three-year-old cars sold in the first eight months of the year, the average Fiat 500e is gone in about three weeks (22.2 days) and is the fastest-selling used vehicle.

The BMW i3 plug-in hybrid, second-fastest selling, takes only slightly longer (23.2 days), followed by No. 4 Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid (24.7 days), No. 6 Nissan LEAF electric (25 days), and No. 9 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid and No. 10 Tesla Model S electric (both 26.1 days).

“Consumers’ worries about alternative-fuel vehicles’ range, battery life, safety and performance seem to be balanced by falling prices, leading to quick sales of these cars,” reported the website. Four of the six alternative-fuel vehicles – 500e, i3, LEAF and Energi – have experienced double-digit price drops, while the Prius dropped just 1.1 percent and the Model S price actually increased 3.5 percent.

Other quick sellers, all gasoline powered, are No. 3 Lexus IS 200t (24.5 days), No. 5 Hyundai Veloster Turbo (24.9), No. 7 Scion FR-S (25.1) and No. 8 Mercedes-Benz GLC (25.7).

But fast-selling doesn’t necessarily mean most popular.

None of the vehicles on iSeeCar’s fastest-selling list are near the top of the most-popular list, although the Top 10 most popular vehicles still sell faster than the average used vehicle.

The lineup of the 10 most-popular used vehicles is dominated by Honda, Toyota and Nissan with three models each, according to the website’s study. It comprises the Honda Civic (26.8 days); Nissan Sentra (29.5); Toyota Corolla (29.7); Honda CR-V (29.8) and Accord (30.2); Hyundai Elantra (30.2); Toyota Camry and RAV4 (both 30.9), and Nissan Altima (31.3) and Rogue (32.1).

And the popular vehicles that require longer than average to sell?

Dominated by Chevrolet and Ford, the list comprises Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (33.7 days), Ford Explorer (34.4), Jeep Grand Cherokee (34.5), Chevrolet Equinox (35.1), Ford F-150 and Escape (both 35.5), GMC Sierra 1500 (35.7), Ford Fusion (35.9), Chevrolet Malibu (36) and Ram 1500 pickup (37).

“In contrast to the fastest-selling cars, the nation’s most popular cars all sell about as fast as the overall average … [although] interestingly, despite their popularity as segments, SUVs and trucks are largely slower to sell than average,” the website reported.

That, said Ly, illustrates “the effect of price on moving cars off of dealers’ lots.”

First the holidays, and then what? Santander Consumer has the answer

But it’s only November.

The holidays haven’t even come and gone, and December has been a top-three sales month the last two years and six years in the past decade.

And yet it’s a good time to at least start thinking about what comes afterward – tax season 2018.

Despite the anxiety most people feel about filing returns, many start shopping for (and some buying) new vehicles as early as December in anticipation of refunds, making tax season a good time to sell cars.

“Sure, it’s early to be thinking about tax time, with the holidays ahead,” said Nancy Bloom, a Santander Consumer USA (SC) regional sales manager. “But it’s not too early. Tax season will be here before we know it, and the dealers that plan ahead of time will have an edge.”

110917 IL First the holidays, and then what Santander Consumer has the answerThere is no other time many shoppers have an extra $3,000 or so to put down on a new or used vehicle. The numbers appear to bear that out, though it’s a narrower window than some might imagine.

Although the surrounding months of January, February and April typically are not among the best, March has been one of the top three sales months of the year eight times in the past decade, including 2016 and 2017. That means you have an opportunity to get ahead of the year’s sales curve.

Besides getting your sales team prepped and aligning your advertising, marketing and inventory, it’s important to have a relationship with a lender that can help seize that opportunity.

In addition to being a full-spectrum lender, Santander Consumer USA provides two programs your dealership should consider to build tax season traffic, whether that’s strengthening sales in January and February or building up for a strong finish in March and April.


Your dealership can reach up to 12,000 prospects, whose buying interest is hitting a seasonal peak, by planning ahead for a tax-season mailer in which 20 percent of leads buy a car within 90 days. The Deadline to sign up for the monthly mailer typically is early the month before – December for January, for example, or January for February, February for March, etc. You can contact your area sales manager for more details or call program headquarters at 844.596.5575.


This updated program puts the power of incremental sales in your hands by enabling your dealership to bid online for approved customer leads in a specific geographic area – and it requires no subscription. Active SC dealers can contact their area sales manager for details on how to sign up online.

“We’re really excited to give dealer’s more control in when and how they receive leads,” said Meredith Grossfeld, RoadLoans product marketing manager, “to decide how many leads they want and when they want them.”

And then there are tools like the Dealer Extranet and powerful Rehash Tool to help maximize results whether it’s holiday season, tax season or any other season.

Sure, it’s only November, but it’ll be tax season before you know it.