If dealers don't weigh in, they can't gripe

Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News.

Dealers have a chance right now to weigh in on what they like and don’t like about their lenders, and they shouldn’t miss the opportunity.

The survey period for the J.D. Power U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study is at about the halfway point. Questionnaires went out via mail and email on March 1 and will be in the field through April. This year’s results should be published July 27.

In practice, F&I managers and general managers usually fill out this particular survey, although officially the surveys are aimed at dealer principals.

Dealers’ satisfaction with prime and nonprime retail loans is measured across three categories: finance provider offering, application and approval process, and sales representative relationship. For retail leasing, the survey adds to those categories “vehicle return process.” There’s also a section on floorplanning.

Last year’s survey generated 3,037 responses. That’s a decent sample size, but there were 18,000 U.S. dealerships as of Jan. 1, according to the Automotive News Data Center.

Dealerships that don’t fill out the survey shouldn’t complain about the results.

You can reach Jim Henry at autonews@autonews.com