Tag Archive | "Ally"

ADT Names 2016 Dealers’ Choice Award Winners


TORRANCE, Calif. — The publishers of Auto Dealer Today announced the winners of the 12th annual Dealers’ Choice Awards. The awards are based on a comprehensive survey that allowed dealers and dealership personnel to recognize their favorite vendors, suppliers and finance companies in 34 categories.

Voters must write in the name of each provider and score them in a number of areas related to performance, customer service, and the likelihood the voter would recommend each company to another dealer.

“This year’s winners include Dealers’ Choice Awards regulars as well as a number of new companies that have emerged as major players in a variety of categories,” said David Gesualdo, publisher of Auto Dealer Today and F&I and Showroom magazines. “But they all have one thing in common: They have earned the loyalty and praise of dealers, and they deserve our congratulations.”

The 2016 Dealer’s Choice Awards winners are:

New-Vehicle Lead

Used-Vehicle Lead

  • Diamond: Autotrader
  • Platinum: Cars.com
  • Gold: CarsDirect

Special Finance Lead

  • Diamond: CarsDirect
  • Platinum: DealerLink
  • Gold: Auto Credit Express

Digital Marketing

  • Diamond: Digital Air Strike
  • Platinum: ELEAD1ONE
  • Gold: eBizAutos

Website Provider

  • Diamond: eBizAutos
  • Platinum: VinSolutions
  • Gold: Dealer.com

Chat Provider

  • Diamond: ActivEngage
  • Platinum: Client~ConneXion
  • Gold: Contact At Once!

Mobile Media

  • Diamond: Dealer.com
  • Platinum: eBizAutos
  • Gold: Dealer Synergy

Social Media Management

  • Diamond: Ally
  • Platinum: Naked Lime
  • Gold: DealerClickz

Reputation Management

  • Diamond: Dominion Dealer Solutions
  • Platinum: CDK Global
  • Gold (tie): DealerRefresh
  • Gold (tie): DMEautomotive

Direct Mail

  • Diamond: ProMax Unlimited
  • Platinum: Action Integrated
  • Gold: Strategic Marketing

Virtual BDC

  • Diamond: ELEAD1ONE
  • Platinum: DealerStrong

Online Inventory Listing Management

  • Diamond: Dominion Dealer Solutions
  • Platinum: eBizAutos
  • Gold: Auction123

Inventory Management

  • Diamond: Dealertrack
  • Platinum: vAuto
  • Gold: FirstLook Systems

Hiring and Recruitment

  • Diamond: GSFSGroup
  • Platinum: Hireology

Sales Training

  • Diamond: Ziegler SuperSystems
  • Platinum: Ally
  • Gold: Joe Verde Group

Internet Training

  • Diamond: Dealer.com
  • Platinum: Dealer Synergy
  • Gold: Ally

Compliance Training

  • Diamond: American Financial & Automotive Services (AFAS)
  • Platinum: United Development Systems Inc. (UDS)
  • Gold: Mosaic Compliance Services

F&I Training

  • Diamond: United Development Systems Inc. (UDS)
  • Platinum: American Financial & Automotive Services (AFAS)
  • Gold: Reahard & Associates

Special Finance Training

  • Diamond: DealerStrong
  • Platinum: NCM Associates
  • Gold: Ally

Fixed Ops Training

  • Diamond: DealerPro Service Solutions
  • Platinum: CDK Global
  • Gold: The Cardone Group

F&I Products

  • Diamond: IAS
  • Platinum: RoadVantage
  • Gold: National Auto Care

Service Contract

  • Diamond: CNA National
  • Platinum: Protective Asset Protection
  • Gold: AUL Corp.

Service Contract Reinsurance

  • Diamond: Portfolio
  • Platinum: GSFSGroup
  • Gold: CNA National

F&I Desking Software

  • Diamond: ProMax Unlimited
  • Platinum: Reynolds and Reynolds
  • Gold: Dealertrack

F&I Technology

  • Diamond: F&I Express
  • Platinum: MaximTrak
  • Gold: StoneEagle

CRM 

  • Diamond: ProMax Unlimited
  • Platinum: ELEAD1ONE
  • Gold: Reynolds and Reynolds

DMS 

  • Diamond: Dealertrack
  • Platinum: Reynolds and Reynolds
  • Gold: Auto/Mate

Data Mining

  • Diamond: ELEAD1ONE
  • Platinum: Dominion Dealer Solutions
  • Gold: AutoAlert

Online Auction for Purchasing Inventory

  • Diamond: Manheim
  • Platinum: SmartAuction
  • Gold: ADESA

Traditional Auction

  • Diamond: Manheim
  • Platinum: ADESA

Prime Captive Finance Company

  • Diamond: GM Financial
  • Platinum: Honda Financial Services
  • Gold: Toyota Financial Services

Prime Non-Captive Finance Company

  • Diamond: Ally
  • Platinum: Chase
  • Gold: Wells Fargo

Subprime Finance Company

  • Diamond: Wells Fargo
  • Platinum: Regional Acceptance
  • Gold: Capital One

Biweekly Payments

  • Diamond: U.S. Equity Advantage
  • Platinum: SMART Payment Plan
  • Gold: Economic Advantages Corp. (EAC)

More detail about this year’s awards will appear in a Special Awards Section in the July issue of Auto Dealer Today. The winners will be honored in a special ceremony in August at Industry Summit in Las Vegas.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact David Gesualdo via email hidden; JavaScript is required or at (727) 947-4027.

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Ally Gains eContracting Capabilities Through RouteOne


FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — Ally Financial is the latest finance source to add full econtracting capabilities, including electronic contract validation, signature and distribution, through RouteOne’s indirect auto finance platform.

“Econtracting provides a variety of benefits to our dealers and streamlines the transaction for the consumer,” said Tim Russi, president of auto finance at Ally. “Ally continues to invest in our technology to provide dealers the tools for faster funding and increased customer satisfaction.”

RouteOne CEO Mike Jurecki said that the availability of financial sources like Ally helps to further drive the adoption of econtracting by dealers. RouteOne’s volume more than doubled in 2014. The company is now on pace to close 2015 with more than 4.5 million econtracts since the inception of RouteOne’s econtracting technology.

The company attributed the growth in econtracting to dealers being able to leverage their current dealer management systems and other dealer service providers through open integrations to the RouteOne platform. RouteOne eContracting platform also provides compliance auditing throughout the entire contracting life-cycle. It offers a signing process that can be done using signature pads, tablets, or nearly any touch-screen device, according to the company.

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Ally to Offer APR, FICO Score and Secure Email for Auto Consumers


MIAMI — Ally announced yesterday at the National Association of Minority Automotive Dealers (NAMAD) annual convention that, starting July 19, it will add customers’ annual percentage rate (APR) to their online account profiles. The finance source will provide customers with their FICO Score and has launched a secure email feature on its site to help customers send and receive account information and documents quickly and safely.

Ally’s decision to provide FICO Scores for customers was announced earlier this year at President Obama’s BuySecure event. The move is designed to help consumers monitor their credit health. Ally has also added tips and information to its financial literacy resources that explain the significance of a consumer’s FICO Score and how it impacts the auto finance process.

“In the digital world, having the tools to manage and monitor finances has become increasingly important for many consumers,” said Tim Russi, president of auto finance at Ally. “By offering direct access to their FICO Scores and APR within their online accounts, Ally is adding a new level of transparency, and making it easier and faster for them to access their account details and credit information.”

Ally customers will be able to access their APR, FICO Score and secure email by logging into their existing auto online account or creating an online account at www.ally.com/auto/. Dealers can also point car buyers to Ally’s Wallet Wise website at www.allywalletwise.com. There they’ll find information on the impact a FICO score has on APR as well as additional tips and resources on the car-buying process. Educational course on budgeting, credit, banking and investing are also available through the site.

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Treasury Said to Want Ally Sale With IPO Seen Unlikely


The U.S. Treasury Department, which put $17.2 billion into a bailout of Ally Financial Inc., would prefer a breakup and sale of the lender because an initial public offering may not succeed, according to people familiar with the matter.

Treasury officials are telling Ally executives, directors and financial advisers that an IPO is unlikely soon because of the company’s high cost of capital relative to other banks, the potential bankruptcy of a mortgage unit, and its recent performance in Federal Reserve stress tests, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

The Treasury instead is pushing for Ally to split into at least two pieces, the people said. One part would be Ally’s auto-finance unit, one of the largest in the U.S., and the other would be its online bank, which had almost $28 billion in retail deposits at year-end. Investor Elliott Management Corp. also recommends a sale, according to a letter sent to the board by Elliott and obtained by Bloomberg News.

“Treasury has a lot of influence here,” said Adam Steer, an analyst at Brookfield Investment Management Inc., whose parent Brookfield Asset Management Inc. oversees about $150 billion in assets. “If you are going to repay the government as soon as possible and you can’t IPO it, how else would you pay them? A sale certainly makes sense.”

Ally Chief Executive Officer Michael Carpenter, 65, and its board have resisted the Treasury’s call for a split, the people said, adding that the department is reluctant to press Carpenter too hard for a sale out of concern about appearing as a heavy- handed owner. The Treasury owns 74 percent of Ally, the Detroit- based former finance arm of General Motors Corp.

“We’re supportive of management and continue to work closely with them,” the Treasury said in an e-mailed statement. Matt Anderson, a department spokesman, declined to comment on Treasury’s view of the IPO or the success of any potential sale.

“Every action the company has taken and contemplated has been with the objective to fulfill our mission to support the auto recovery and fully repay the taxpayer’s investment,” Gina Proia, an Ally spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement. “This is what will guide our decisions going forward.”

While no official Ally sales process has begun, the Treasury Department’s views have been shared with Ally senior executives, directors and a number of the financial and legal advisers brought on to help pursue an IPO, the people said.

The Fed’s stress tests released March 13 found Ally had some of the smallest capital cushions against losses among 19 of the largest U.S. lenders.

Ally probably will put the Residential Capital mortgage unit into bankruptcy in the next few weeks and sell some assets in a court-supervised sale, people familiar with the matter said last month. The firm also may lose its preferred lender status with automaker Chrysler Group LLC, which is seeking banks like Wells Fargo & Co. and Santander Holdings USA Inc. to potentially replace Ally, people with knowledge of the matter said last month.

Credit-default swaps on Minneapolis-based ResCap fell 4 percentage points to 67 percent upfront at 12:16 p.m. in New York today, according to data provider CMA, which is owned by CME Group Inc. and compiles prices quoted by dealers in the privately negotiated market. Investors use credit-default swaps to hedge against losses on corporate debt or to speculate on creditworthiness.

The Treasury has suggested Ally consider selling its captive-finance business to GM, said two of these people, with the rest sold to a traditional bank. GM and other companies aren’t interested in buying any of Ally until it resolves ResCap’s status, said another person familiar with the matter.

Jim Cain, a spokesman for Detroit-based GM, declined to comment.

The U.S. determined that Ally, formerly known as GMAC, was crucial to the survival of the auto industry during the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 and provided multiple bailouts in return for a 74 percent stake.

Last year, when Ally was close to a public offering, it considered a joint bid from GM and Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canada’s second-largest lender, until those discussions fizzled, a person familiar with the matter said last month.

Ally has financed about 6.7 million GM or Chrysler vehicles for dealers since 2009 and another 2.4 million for consumers, Proia said. Ally has so far paid $5.4 billion to the Treasury.

Many of the bankers Ally brought on to prepare for an IPO have been told an offering is unlikely, said two people familiar with the matter. Some of Ally’s top people working on the IPO have said they’ll leave.

Corey Pinkston, head of corporate debt and equity for Ally since January 2009, has announced his intentions to depart, Proia said in a separate telephone interview. Laura Hall, who works with Pinkston, will also be leaving.

Both executives still work at the company and have no specific departure date, Proia said. Jeff Brown, the senior executive vice president in charge of finance and corporate planning, will add Pinkston’s duties to his current role.

Elliott Management, which owns 2.3 percent of Ally, is also pressing Carpenter, the board and their advisers to explore a sale. Its letter, and an accompanying plan, also urged Carpenter not to put ResCap into bankruptcy, saying the process will mean “radical value destruction,” drag out for 12 to 18 months, and trigger billions of dollars in so-called put-back claims, where holders of mortgage-backed securities issued by ResCap try to force the company to buy back soured loans backing the bonds.

The litigation would push up Ally’s cost of funding and hurt its competitive position, the letter said.

The plan urges Carpenter to sell Ally Bank to another lender and says it could fetch $13.1 billion to $16.3 billion. The origination and loan portfolio, which provides credit and insurance to more than 18,000 car dealers, could then be sold for $10 billion to $12.5 billion, according to the document.

A transaction “in which ResCap is restructured out of court and Ally is sold to a strategic financial institution is the best option,” the letter said. “This will create significant value for all constituents at a dramatically lower all-in cost with considerably less uncertainty and execution risk.”

The plan suggests Ally should instead exchange ResCap debt for Ally debt and pay off the smaller number of put-back claims through monthly cash flow. A number of the put-back claims would go away in 2013 or 2014 due to a statute of limitations on such claims, according to the plan.

Carpenter, the Ally board and his advisers haven’t responded to the proposal from Elliott, according to a person familiar with the matter.

“The fact remains that addressing the risks in the mortgage business is the key to successfully pursuing any and all future strategies,” Proia said in the e-mailed statement. She declined to comment on whether the company has seen the plan.

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AIG, Ally, GM CEO Compensation Will Not Increase


WASHINGTON – Compensation packages for the chief executives of bailed-out firms American International Group, Ally Financial and General Motors will not increase in 2011, the Treasury Department said late on Friday.

The Obama administration’s pay czar has reviewed the packages for the top 25 executives at the four remaining companies that have received exceptional government assistance and has found that overall, their cash compensation has decreased 18.2 percent, treasury said, reported Reuters.

To ensure that taxpayers were not rewarding executives at companies that received the most government help, the law required that their pay packages be subject to restrictions and approved by Patricia Geoghegan, who is special master for executive compensation for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

The cash component of the pay packages for the CEOs of Ally, GM and AIG is frozen at 2010 levels, Treasury said in a statement. Chrysler’s top 25 executives were also reviewed. But since the auto maker is under management control of Italy’s Fiat SpA, its CEO is compensated by Fiat.

Geoghegan took issue with a few of the proposals. In a letter to Ally Financial, she said that in certain cases the proposed stock salary was not justified and must be reduced. The top paid executive at Ally, CEO Michael Carpenter, will make $9.5 million in 2011, according to the Treasury letter that did not identify Carpenter by name.

AIG’s top earner, CEO Bob Benmosche, will make $10.5 million, according to Treasury’s letter to the insurer. Geoghegan said that an AIG employee’s cash salary should not exceed $500,000 other than in “exceptional cases for good cause.”

The highest paid executive at GM, CEO Dan Akerson, will get $9 million this year, according to Treasury’s letter to the automaker.

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Ally to Build its Used-Vehicle Finance Business after Strong Q3 Profits


DETROIT – Ally Financial Inc., the former GMAC Financial Services auto and home mortgage lender, has been a small player in used-vehicle financing but intends to target that business for growth, CEO Michael Carpenter said.

Ally, which became a bank holding company in December 2008, boasted that it was the top new-vehicle retail lender in the first nine months of 2010, based on Experian AutoCount data, Automotive News reported.

But the lender holds just a 1.5 percent share of the fragmented used-vehicle retail finance business through September, behind Wells Fargo Dealer Services at 3.6 percent, Chase Auto Finance at 2.3 percent, Toyota Financial Services at 2.0 percent and Capital One Auto Finance at 1.6 percent, the Experian data show.

The used-vehicle finance market is about twice that of the new-vehicle market, making it a “great opportunity for business,” Carpenter said during Ally’s third-quarter conference call this morning.

Ally also intends to build its vehicle leasing business and to finance more vehicles for people with fair and poor credit. During the credit crisis, the lender shrank those businesses to clean up its balance sheet, but “the pendulum swung a little too far,” said James Mackey, interim CFO.

The company increased its nonprime and lease volume this year, but the business is much smaller than it was in 2006 when it was GMAC.

“We need to increase that volume to be a full-spectrum lender,” said Mackey, but at lower levels than a few years ago.

Globally, retail auto finance lending increased 48 percent during the third quarter to $11.4 billion, compared with $7.7 billion in the third quarter of last year. The total includes $9.0 billion in new-vehicle loans and $1.3 billion in used-vehicle loans.

Ally’s new-vehicle lease volume was $1.1 billion, up from just $100 million in the third quarter of last year.

In the United States, total retail originations were $8.3 billion, up from $5.6 billion in the third quarter of 2009 and $8.0 billion in the second quarter of 2010.

At the same time, Ally’s subvented business — financing enhanced with factory incentives — is down. “We are competing fair and square in the marketplace,” Carpenter told analysts.

General Motors-subsidized financing was 76 percent of Ally’s retail loan and lease volume in 2006; currently, it’s just 20 percent of Ally’s business.

The trend was reversed in the past year. In the third quarter of 2010, GM subsidized $1.7 billion in new-vehicle loans and leases, while Ally wrote $2.0 billion in standard loans and leases. That’s down significantly from the third quarter of 2009, when GM subsidized $3.0 billion in loans and leases, and Ally wrote $1.2 billion in standard loans and leases.

Ally’s wholesale penetration in the United States has dipped for both GM and Chrysler dealers from the second quarter of this year. For GM dealers, penetration is also down year over year.

The company financed 83.7 percent of new GM vehicles in inventory in the third quarter, down from 86.6 percent in the second quarter of this year and 85.9 percent in the third quarter of last year. Ally financed 76.2 percent of the new Chrysler Group vehicles in stock, down from 77.1 percent in the second quarter of this year and up from 31.7 percent in the third quarter of 2009.

But Ally contends its commercial business remains strong. “It encompasses floorplan financing, working-capital loans, store upgrades,” Carpenter said. “We’re an embedded, committed competitor in this industry and have been for 90 years.”

Ally reported net income of $269 million in the third quarter of 2010, up from a net loss of $767 million in the third quarter of 2009.

The company has seen three straight profitable quarters overall and seven profitable quarters in a row for its core automotive finance business.

Ally’s North American third-quarter auto finance profit was $568 million, almost double its profit year over year. It reported a $74 million profit in international auto finance, also up substantially year over year. Income for Ally’s insurance business, which serves car dealerships, totaled $114 million, up about 5 percent year over year.

Carpenter cited consistent market share, a more diversified product mix and the addition of Fiat as an auto partner in the United States. Carpenter said he is “optimistic about the long-term prospects for the company.”

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