LAS VEGAS – Youthful consumer expectations will change car buying, says John Noone, president of Ford Credit, the auto maker’s vehicle-financing unit.
“People between the ages of 16 to 29 will refine or customize the buying experience,” he says. “The question is whether it will be evolutionary or revolutionary, but we should prepare for it.”
Noone is not exactly sure how the new wave of car buyers will “streamline” the buying process, he tells WardsAuto at the American Financial Services Assn. vehicle-financing conference held here as a companion event to the National Automobile Dealers Assn. annual convention.
“But young people certainly use the Internet a lot, to an extent that seems impersonal to some older people,” Noone says. “They do a lot of online research. There’s feedback that they are put off by the dealership experience. It will be interesting whether their behavior stays the same as they get older.”
If Generation Y balks at visiting dealerships, it apparently loathes time spent in the finance and insurance office.
More than 60% say they are reluctant to go to a dealership and “82% say they don’t want to walk into an F&I office,” says Tom Gilman, president and CEO of TD Auto Finance.
What might make the F&I process more palatable to young buyers?
“Make it super-efficient,” Gilman tells WardsAuto. “They are going to want that. They also want full disclosure, although they probably won’t read the contract. It will be enough to announce full disclosure.”
Dealers deserve compensation if they act as a middleman by connecting a customer with a lender, says Andrew Stuart, president and CEO of Volkswagen Credit. “But young buyers want transparency, including how much a dealer is getting as compensation for the loan.”