"We're all trying to exceed the growing expectations of our customers," Chait said. "When the transaction moves — either in whole or in part — to a digital environment, it's going to be even more critical that we can instill a level of confidence when they make decisions around their vehicle, the financing and the products that customers may choose to purchase."
The products will launch nationwide for online and in-person transactions. Dealership customers will have the option to select the co-branded version of the F&I product against a similar JM&A Group offering.
"Dealers will ultimately choose which version of products they would like to sell," Chait said. "It will be an offering, but it won't displace what's currently available and currently used."
Chris Sutton, vice president of J.D. Power's automotive retail practice, told Automotive News the firm selected JM&A Group from among the leading product providers for the partnership because of the cultural similarities between the companies and the longevity of JM&A. The F&I provider serves more than 3,800 franchised and independent dealerships nationwide.
"We know the F&I experience is, from a customer standpoint, maybe an area where sometimes they have more questions than answers," Sutton said. "We thought from our perspective, we could help bring confidence to the consumer decision around F&I products and, on the dealer end, bring that trusted J.D. Power brand."
The partnership extends to dealership training and certification opportunities through the JM&A Performance Development Center in Deerfield Beach, Fla. J.D. Power also can bring customer satisfaction data to the table for future curriculum, Sutton said.
"There's certainly a lot we pick up around what customers like and don't like," he said. "Certainly, Dan's team understands what's important to the dealer and how to work effectively with them. We think it's a nice collaboration."