Toyota Financial Services, which uses RouteOne for e-contracting, says it experienced high utilization growth for a few years after launching e-contracting in 2012. Now 87 percent of contracts purchased by Toyota Financial are e-contracts.
At the beginning of 2019, nearly 1,300 Toyota and Lexus dealerships assigned an e-contract to Toyota Financial, Toyota's credit arm. The number of participating dealerships is up 1 percent from 2017.
Volvo Car Financial Services launched e-contracting in 2016 for loans and has 121 dealerships eligible for e-contracting, but just a small portion of dealerships use it now, said TJ Prayner, vice president of sales and marketing for Volvo's finance arm.
"Over the past few years, e-contracting was buzzworthy throughout the industry. However, our retailers said it disrupted the sales process and was inefficient," Prayner said in an email to Automotive News. "When you marry [Volvo Car Financial Services'] ability to fund [paper] applications the same day and e-contracting's disruption to the sales process, our retailers lean toward the traditional funding process."
Volvo's captive, which uses Dealertrack for e-contracts, said it wants to transition its lease transactions into e-contracting and sees more potential in widespread adoption of e-contracting when the availability of remote signing increases.
"We see a tremendous amount of growth with e-contracting in the coming years as e-sign capabilities increase, the technology becomes more efficient and consumers become more confident with it," Prayner said.
Still, rapid growth in remote e-contracting may take time.
"I think what we've seen in a lot of cases is utilization of that product is relatively niche or you might have a dealership that's very progressive in how they choose to engage with their consumers, their customers, so they take advantage of it," Belanger said. "But I think dealerships as a whole are still trying to get comfortable with how to incorporate that into their closing process with the consumer."