The Clearlane network includes more than a dozen national, regional and local finance providers that will connect with consumers to finance or refinance their auto loans. Consumers can also speak with live agents and purchase Ally's F&I products. Tim Russi, president of auto finance at Ally, says the company also expects to add F&I product offerings from other providers.
The platform aims "to capture the trends of what consumers want in a transaction and [evolving] a solution that works for consumers, dealers and providers," Russi said.
During Ally's third-quarter earnings call, when the company announced the BlueYield acquisition, CEO Jeff Brown said he believes that dealers will play a "central role in the buying and financing process," adding that Ally made the acquisition to ensure it plays a "leading role" as the auto-finance arena becomes more digital.
Eventually, Russi said he expects Clearlane will feature both direct and indirect transactions. He anticipates that as the platform evolves, dealerships will be able to join it, too.
"In every transaction there is a dealer, a finance source and a consumer. I don't see that changing," Russi said. "Any business model we have takes [dealers] into consideration."
The platform aims to "reinvent or complement" the existing model, Russi said.
After customers find the car they want on a dealership's website, Russi envisions someday they could then click a Clearlane financing link and finalize the transaction at the dealership.
Clearlane isn't meant to dictate how consumers shop, he added, but it gives them the option to transact any time, anywhere.
Clearlane is designed to be "multigenerational," Russi said. It's a tool to keep up with dealers' and consumers' preferences. "All we're declaring here is we're in this for the long haul and we want to participate in the development of a great experience online in this area."