Archive for the ‘Building Partnerships’ Category

The inside story: What dealerships love most about Santander

We think there’s a lot to like about Santander Consumer USA (SC).

But it’s better to hear what high-performing dealers think after they’ve worked with us.

So we conducted an informal survey through our sales team about what dealerships from New York to Texas say concerning the best practices in working with SC.

The clear winner among those dealerships? Our dealer Extranet and rehash tool to rework your deals. Although building relationships with our buyers and area sales managers also was suggested, because “they are a partner in helping us get more deals approved and keeping profits high.”


“What I love the most about Santander is the dealer Extranet, where we can rehash deals, switch vehicles, and work out different structures with and without warrantees,” PEDRO PEREIRA, finance manager at Teddy Nissan in the Bronx, N.Y., told Stephen Rivelli, area sales manager.

“Using the Extranet saves us a lot of time from calling our buyer every single time we need to make changes,” explained Pereira. “It’s truly awesome.”

“There are times where we are not able to rehash a deal on the website because of exceptions,” said the finance manager, “but we can always call a buyer, who always answers very quickly to help us with the deal, so it’s an overall great experience to work with Santander.”

“Utilizing all tools given, especially the Extranet,” BILL WERKEISER of Performance Kia in Moosic, PA, said when asked by ASM Bill Smith about how to work best with SC.

“This tool provides us with the ability to rework deals in order to get the customer the best possible deal. Other banks simply say yes or no – your rehash tool allows us to see where we need to be to make a deal work.  This tool is a big reason Santander gets so much business.”

Using the Extranet and rehash tool also were cited by FREDDIE WATSON, finance manager, and MO DEAN, sales manager, at Honda of Conyers, GA, said Ashley Quick, SC senior area sales manager.

“This group is a high-performing dealer that really sets themselves apart from many other dealers,” ASM Billy Burleson writes of SAM ALBALOULI’s team at Toyota of Dallas. “This team consistently uses our Extranet tool for rehashing and e-contracts for fast funding.”

The rehash tool also was cited as a key factor in succeeding with Santander by FRANK TOLEDO at Sutherlin Nissan, WOODY RADER at Reed Nissan, YANNI BOUASSIS at Toyota of Orlando, and DAVID GOMEZ at Automarket of Florida, according to Nancy Bloom, SC’s regional sales manager in Florida.

If you’ve heard enough and want to test drive the Extranet and rehash tool, go to our dealer website, or ask your area sales manager to show you how it works.

Others from high-performing dealerships who made suggestions on working with SC include:


Elliff Motors (TX)

“Make sure you have all stips up front before sending the deal in to funding to avoid funding delays. Get as many documents as needed for [proof of residence], because even if the customer doesn’t have a traditional POR, funding might make an exception if it’s a clean deal.”


John Miles Chevrolet (GA)

“Clean packages make everyone’s job so much easier. Build a relationship with rep or buyer, but don’t take anything for granted. If $18,000 is approved, don’t send in $18,100.”


Halterman’s Toyota (PA)

“Make sure everything is tight to ensure fast funding. The buyer relationship is key for overall success. They are a partner in helping us get more deals approved and keeping profits high.”

Most of the top-performing dealerships suggested building relationships with the SC buyer and ASM; using all available programs, including RoadLoans, “because this will lead to higher sales” for your dealer, and sending a wide range of credit scores because SC finances deals across the credit spectrum.

“The ASMs are always available and willing to help, and the buyers work to help close deals,” said one dealer. “And Santander gives fast approvals. This is key when trying to work a deal with a customer.”

But you don’t have to take their word for it, contact your area sales manager or our sales department and find your own reasons to work with Santander Consumer USA.

16 ways to light up more deals in December and beyond

112315 IL Happy Holidaysv3

What you need to know to work with Santander Consumer USA

042715 IL What you need to know to work with Santander Consumer USAIt’s not necessary to know everything about working with Santander Consumer USA if you know where to find information you need, when you need it.

Our website,, is a good place to start.

The “Dealers” tab in the navigation bar at the top of the home page lists useful links for the approximately15,000 dealerships with which we work and others that wish to work with us – contact information, FAQs, testimonials, dealer resources, guidelines and more.

The Partner with Us link offers some of the great reasons you should work with Santander:

Multi-tiered underwriting, with a consistent approach to deal structuring – every application processed by our proprietary, risk-based scoring and pricing model.

Dealer-friendly underwriting, including 24/7 decisions and a dedicated buyer.

Funding with consistency and support including 48- to 72-hour purchasing for clean deal packages, assistance in gathering stipulations and online tools to review the status of deals.

Sales and marketing support from dedicated field sales representatives to dealer incentive programs.

Financial strength and stability with a record of success in a highly fragmented industry and through economic thick and thin.

And, if that information isn’t enough to meet your needs, you may request more information from our sales department or from your dedicated sales representative.

For dealers already working with SCUSA, we are committed to providing financial strength, sound programs and unsurpassed support with a variety of tools to help you with your special finance deals.

For others, becoming a Santander Consumer USA dealer is simple, starting with the dealer agreement.

SCUSA has programs that will help you sell more cars to more customers, providing competitive rates and fast funding for a wide range of credit profiles. In fact, we are the industry leader in special finance, and can often offer approvals for your customers who have been declined by other banks.

So what’s stopping you?

Riding high: Dealer contests show SCUSA appreciation of its dealers


Most people don’t know how hard a car salesperson works.  It’s usually a six-day work week (at least), and most work 10-12 hour days.

In a previous Inside Lane blog, “Are you doing all you can to avoid sales department turnover,” we saw that the lack of competitive pay is one of several reasons why there is so much turnover in a dealership.

Needless to say, being a car salesperson can be demanding, and we at Santander Consumer USA (SCUSA) know it. So, we don’t mind sometimes rewarding our dealers who go above and beyond with contests and competitions.

SantanderSCUSA hosts both regional and national contests for its dealers.

Like any other contests, there are certain requirements that need to be met. Sometimes, it’s submitting more applications, or maybe the idea is to fund more deals.  Whatever the contest goal, SCUSA gives its dealers the opportunity to be recognized for working with us.

Past winners have received trips to the wine country in Napa Valley, California (above left), or spent a day at the races with a trip to the Kentucky Derby (below left). Many other lenders offer incentives and some even offer prizes, but Santander Consumer USA wants to set itself apart and take dealer appreciation to the next level.

Santander“It’s our goal to give our winning dealers a bucket-list experience,” says Leslie Coots, SCUSA dealer events coordinator. “We want to provide our dealers with a first-class, over-the-top experience that they won’t forget.”

SCUSA offers an average of 10 different contests per year. Dealers are invited to participate by their Area Sales Managers and given the rules of engagement.

Each week during the contest period, contestants get a chance to see their rankings and what the spoils will be if they win. Contests usually run three months, giving dealers the time they need to work their deals. Once the winners are announced, they are treated to what Coots hopes is a unique experience.

“Even if it’s a place the dealer has visited before, we want to offer excursions or adventures that are out of the norm, giving everyone a meaningful experience and allowing us to build lasting relationships with our dealers,” explains Coots.

The next contest, which will run nationwide, is scheduled to start in October. Winners will receive a trip to Pebble Beach. Stay tuned for more on how you can get in on the action and win a spot on the 18th hole.

Survey seeks to identify 2014 vehicle remarketing trends

auction buyers survey

Auction buyers have a chance to help improve understanding of current automotive remarketing trends by participating in a survey presented online by Royal Media Inc. with support from Santander Consumer USA Inc. (SCUSA).

Survey results will help the companies provide the best possible support to buyers’ remarketing efforts.

Royal Media publishes GreenLight Remarketing magazine, while Santander is a leading auto lender with relationships that comprise nearly 14,000 dealerships in the United States.

“Santander Consumer USA invites you to participate in a survey of automobile auction buyers to help us fine tune our understanding of the remarketing marketplace and what you, our customers, want and need in auction services and inventory,” said Mitch O’Neil, assistant vice president of remarketing at Santander in an email to auction buyers.

The invitation was emailed to buyers by auctions such as ADESA, Manheim and Brasher’s.

The questionnaire, SCUSA Remarketing 2014 Buyer Survey, will be available to auction buyers June 27 through July 11, and responding should take only a couple minutes.

The survey includes questions such as:

  • How did your purchase volume per channel trend in the first quarter of 2014?
  • Which vehicle segment currently provides you with the best resale value?
  • Are you aware of the relationship between Santander and Chrysler Capital?
  • What is the most important information you need to see on an internet condition report?

Overall results of the remarketing buyer survey, featuring key trends, will be reported in GreenLight Remarketing, a publication for remarketing professionals, which will be available at the auctions or online at Inside Lane (formerly GreenLight to Drive).

GreenLight Remarketing, SCUSA and the auctions will share results of the survey.

The invitation to auction buyers to participate includes a link to the survey. Here is a survey link for auction buyers who wish to participate but might not have received an emailed invitation.

– Mark Macesich

Dealers doing business with Santander Consumer USA

SCUSAThe question if you are a franchise automobile dealer isn’t why should you do business with Santander Consumer USA (SCUSA), it’s why wouldn’t you.

SCUSA is a leader in consistent, fast funding for finance deals across the credit spectrum.

SCUSA manages a multi-billion-dollar portfolio originated from a pool of more than 13,000 dealers (Santander Auto Finance) and from consumers via the internet ( Owned by Banco Santander, a top-10 global bank, the Dallas-based company’s executive management team has decades of direct dealership experience that covers the entire prime and non-prime spectrum.

The company boasts “strong operating platforms in originations, funding and servicing, supported by a highly developed analytics team,” all of which serve its dealer partners well.

“The thing I like about Santander Consumer USA is the service that they give to me. It is above all others,” says a finance director at a Houston dealership in a testimonial. “When I need them I have no problem getting a quick call back … They are always looking for a way to put a deal together.”

Here are some of the ways SCUSA provides a competitive advantage to its dealer partners:

Multi-tiered underwriting

SCUSA offers a consistent approach to deal structuring, with every application processed by a proprietary, risk-based scoring and pricing model – a simplified one-stop approach to B-D tier programs.

Dealer-friendly underwriting

Complete deal structuring, extended hours, 24/7 decisions and one-on-one communication with a dedicated buyer all are part of the SCUSA dealer experience.

Funding with consistency and support

Listed on e-contracting vendors Dealertrack and RouteOne as “Santander Auto,” SCUSA provides 48- to 72-hour purchasing for clean deal packages and assistance in gathering stipulations. Dealers also are provided online tool to review the status of their deals.

Sales and Marketing support

SCUSA provides expert program education for dealership personnel in F&I, sales and accounting, dedicated field sales representatives, dealer incentive programs and hands-on problem resolution.

Financial strength and stability

An industry leader for more than a decade, SCUSA has a track record of success in a highly fragmented industry and has experienced consistent, profitable growth through economic ups and downs.

“Santander Consumer USA has programs that will help you sell more cars to more customers,” the company says on its website. “We offer competitive rates and fast funding, and can finance customers with any credit profile. We are the industry leaders in special finance and can often offer approvals for your customers who have been declined by other banks.

“In addition to our indirect finance solutions, we offer a unique referral program through our platform.”

For more information, see the “Dealers” section on the Santander Consumer USA website, which includes Dealer Resources, Dealer FAQs and Dealer Contact Information.

– Mark Macesich

Santander Auto Finance at NADA 2014 in New Orleans

The National Automotive Dealers Associations (NADA) hosts an annual convention that brings out the best and brightest in the automotive industry. This year is sure to be no different as the convention and expo will be held in New Orleans, LA.

During the weekend of January 24-27, the Crescent City will be abuzz with every automotive insider from car salesperson to blogger. Attendees will be able to learn, shop and network with some of the leading retailers in the industry. It will be a full throttle weekend along the Mississippi, and representatives from Santander Auto Finance (SAF) will be in the midst of it all.

The theme of this year’s NADA convention is “accelerate your business.”

Workshops will include best practices for everyone from the dealer principals to service managers. Keynote speakers like Steve Forbes and former secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, will share their insights on business. Industry leaders will host smaller workshops to lend their expertise, all with the intent of helping accelerate business for dealerships across the country.

Convention-goers will be supplied with tons of information to help them get ahead in the constant race that comprises car sales. Yet, the SAF team is taking a slightly different approach and slowing things down. The focus is on the details.

When dealers visit SAF booth 5253, they will be able to review customized reports specific to their performance with SCUSA. Over coffee and conversation, the SAF team hopes to provide feedback and share ideas that help drive more sales for our dealers in 2014. Management will be there to listen to dealer concerns and answer questions that may be lingering from a past deal.

The SAF team wants to do more than meet and greet our dealer partners. It’s about continuing to build relationships that help meet the diverse needs of each dealer.

If you’re in town, stop by the SAF booth number 5253. Let us spend a little time showing you the possibilities for the year to come.

How to make sure your Lenders will be there when you need Them

By Bridget McCrea

The credit crisis is pressuring car dealers on a number of fronts, as they sell into an economic headwind while also facing concerns from customers related to escalating fuel prices. Many lenders, meanwhile, have cut back on their loan programs or tightened conditions for customers to qualify for loans, exacerbating what is already a perilous time for car dealers. It’s a far cry from just a few years ago, when lenders were much more lenient when it came to doling out cash for just about any type of large purchase.

The changes made by lenders have redrawn the map for dealer-lender relationships, forcing dealers to examine their current funding rosters and to send them looking for new sources. Borrowers with less-than-perfect credit have become particularly difficult to finance in recent months, thanks to fallout from the subprime mortgage market meltdown.

Take the auto dealer who, in searching for a lender, was recently told that the lender would only originate loans if the balance was under $8,000. “From the dealer’s perspective, that wasn’t something he could even build a business on,” says Payam Zamani, CEO and chairman of San Ramon, Calif.-based online financing marketplace, and founder of Zamani expects more dealers to steer clear of subprime deals over the coming months — a trend that could present an opportunity for those dealers with solid, existing relationships with lenders that specialize in the subprime market.

Layoff Uncertainty

At Bill Gray Volvo in Pittsburgh, finance manager Lisa Schaum is concerned about a number of subprime lenders that have laid off thousands of dealer reps — a sign, she says, that fewer deals are being closed. And while her firm does much of its business with Volvo Finance, she says dealers in her area are reporting 25 or more application turndowns per month right now.

“I have people who are making $200,000 to $300,000 a year, and I can’t get them approved,” says Schaum. “Even income doesn’t seem to be able to balance out those credit challenges.” For now, she plans to stick with her current group of lenders, while keeping a close eye on those firms’ willingness and ability to finance deals. “No one has a crystal ball,” says Schaum, “but going forward, I think we’re all going to have to re-evaluate our lenders.”

That means going back to the drawing board and figuring out which lenders will be most likely to approve applications. Jeff Bennett, a former owner of Chevrolet and Toyota dealerships, and currently an assistant professor at Northwood University in Midland, Mich., says dealers need to go beyond the traditional “What is the lender going to do for me?” question, and instead consider what the lender should do for individual applicants.

So whereas approvals appeared to rain down from the heavens in the past, especially when using long-time lender-partners, these days lenders are looking more closely at the individual applicants, rather than the dealers. Mike Sheridan, president and founder of Los Angeles-based auto loan exchange Global Debt Network, says this shift warrants dealers to take a more diverse approach to lender evaluation, and to consider numerous options that can accommodate a wider range of buyers.

When assessing those lenders, Sheridan says dealers should look at how each has reacted in the past during both good and bad times. “Put lenders to the fire a bit,” he says. “Find out how good they are at supporting their customers and/or helping them find other relationships within their own organizations, or at outside entities.”

Lender due Diligence

Dealers must also talk to one another to figure out which lenders are most apt to approve applicants, Sheridan says. “Lenders complete due diligence on the individual dealers,” he says, “and I think dealers need to start doing the same with their lenders.” key points to discuss include the lender’s turndown record, application requirements, record of approving subprime loans, and record for deactivating dealers.

“Deactivation has become a very common practice during the past year, particularly for dealers that aren’t sending enough business to the lender,” says Sheridan. Deactivated dealers should immediately call the financing company to find out the reasons behind the decision, and then work to rectify the situation. If, for example, a lender pulls the plug because  it feels a dealer isn’t meeting expected deal levels, then it may be time for the latter to reassess just how important that lender is for the company, and whether the relationship is worth saving.

The Stress Factor

Sheridan says dealers should also look to open lines of communication with lenders and make them two-way streets, despite the fact that they haven’t histori- cally worked that way. “Go back and ask them what’s going on in their business, whether they’re tightening up lending standards and how those changes will affect internal underwriting practices,” says Sheridan. “With financial institutions under a tremendous amount of stress right now, the smart dealers are picking up the phone to find out what’s going on.”

Going forward, expect to see tighter lending practices forcing dealers to continue re-evaluating the financial institutions that their customers do business with. By taking proactive measures when working with new and prospective lenders — and when structuring the deals themselves — Sheridan says dealers can be better prepared to handle any changes that come their way. “This is going to force dealers to react quickly,” he says. “Hopefully the close relationships they have with their lenders will see them through, otherwise it could result in further funding problems.”