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Powersports Lags Due to Lack of Dealer Training, Panelists Say

  • Natalie Mattila
  • October 7, 2016
  • 0
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Pictured, from left: Andrew Hewitt, Director of Motorcycles, American Credit Acceptance; Ray Phipps, President and Chief Executive Officer, HorsePower Financial Services; Maurice Salter, President and Chief Executive Officer, MotoLease; Chuck Smith, Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer, TDECU.

LAS VEGAS — While not lacking in technology options, powersports is still lagging auto to the extent that dealers are unable to leverage technology, Andrew Hewitt, director of motorcycles at American Credit Acceptance, told attendees at PowerSports Finance 2016 on Wednesday.

“Auto dealers are more trained and educated on the systems — such as dealer portals — given to them,” he said, “whereas powersports, they typically haven’t had somebody come in and train them on how to maximize the tools given to them, to be able to structure the deals appropriately.”

Technology is generally there, but you can’t “shove it down people’s throats,” added Maurice Salter, president and chief executive at MotoLease. “You have to be sensitive to what they [dealers] can absorb.”

MotoLease owns and operates its own in-house technology group, and utilizes a “completely paperless” process, he said.  However, a paperless process doesn’t work for everybody, so lenders need a system that people can feel comfortable with. “I think over time, all processes will be electronic, but it’s not going to happen overnight,” he said.

Technology is being embraced, however, “I think some of the OEMs — specifically the ones that we work with — have their dealers so convinced that their platform is the only platform available to the powersports industry,” said Ray Phipps, president and chief executive at HorsePower Financial Services, and we have to work through that to bring the newer technology to that market.

The technology gap between powersports and auto has a lot to do with dealer training, agreed Chuck Smith, senior vice president and chief lending officer at TDECU. “If you make it [the technology platform] too difficult, they won’t use it,” he said. “Technology is there, it’s just that it is more important for some than it is for others.”

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