DETROIT - Twenty-five financial institutions have signed on to use RouteOne LLC's Web-based credit application system for car dealers.
That puts RouteOne, which began as a Big 3 joint venture, more than halfway to a long-term goal of signing up 45 lenders.
Dealers do not pay to use the system. Revenue is generated from the lenders.
The idea behind RouteOne is simple. Instead of dealers using many systems to submit credit applications for their customers to captive finance companies, banks and credit unions, dealers use just one.
RouteOne says 12 of the 25 lenders are independent, non-captive financial institutions.
Ford Credit, General Motors Acceptance Corp. and DaimlerChrysler Services formed RouteOne in January 2002. Toyota Financial Services joined as a partner the following June.
RouteOne CEO Mike Jurecki says the Southfield, Mich., company will add as many lenders as dealers desire. RouteOne expects to have 32 lenders signed up by year end.
But some lenders have taken a wait-and-see attitude about joining, Jurecki says.
"Let's face it, we're a joint venture," he says. "These things aren't easy. And a lot of them are saying, 'Are these guys going to make it or not?' We had a lot to overcome, but we've overcome it. We're coming to market. It's that simple."