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JIM HENRY

Lenders wax warm on dealer relations

Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News

Lenders at a conference in Dallas this week paid so many tributes to their dealer relationships that the dealers, had they heard them, probably would have felt all warm and fuzzy.

“A key to our success is actually being in the store,” Brian Switalski, president of Southern Auto Finance Co. in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said at the Auto Finance Risk Summit hosted by Royal Media Group.

He said his company recently split up some territories, such as Dallas and Fort Worth, in order to increase the number of representatives calling on dealerships in a territory.

Several lenders boasted that their up-close and personal relationships with dealers were what set them apart from other lenders.

But not all the dealer relationships cited by lenders appear to have been made in heaven. There were some references to fraud in which, believe it or not, a few dealers did not sound like angels. Wonder how the dealers would have felt had they heard.

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