Dealerships can make or break auto lender, factory reputations

Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News

J.D. Power and Associates has reaffirmed that the dealership F&I experience has a big effect on what customers think of the factory and the lender that finances the deal.

The research and consulting firm is about to unveil results of the 2012 Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study. The survey was redesigned and revived after a four-year hiatus. Paid subscribers to the study were expected to see the results starting Tuesday, Dec. 11. J.D. Power planned to release excerpts to the public Thursday, Dec. 13.

Based on a separate survey, the 2012 Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study, there's also a high correlation between dealers' satisfaction with auto lenders and customers' loyalty to the same lenders, J.D. Power said.

After all, the "dealer finance manager plays a strong role in recommending lenders and impacts lender retention," J.D. Power said in a written presentation last week.

These are good arguments, if any are needed, for factories and lenders to make nice with dealerships.