The financial arm of the American Automobile Association (AAA) is preparing to enter the powersports space in 2018 with an online, direct refinance product and, subsequently, after that launch a retail lending program, said Jeff Vander Linden, chief lending officer for Auto Club Trust Federal Savings Bank.
“We’re going to be expanding out into motorcycle, RV, and marine,” he told Powersports Finance. “We’re looking to get back into the refi sector in the beginning . We have a lot of membership that are [interested] in refi, RV, and marine, so that’s our first play. We won’t get too far into the dealer purchase yet; for us the refi will be a little easier to do.”
The program will launch in the next “six to eight months” as the bank slowly rolls out its digital product to agents, Vander Linden said in mid-November. “Once our agents have the ability to do these transactions digitally, it will get traction and run from there,” he said. “We’re an insurance company, so we have insurance agents that can work on the refi side.”
Vander Linden joked that auto is a lot easier to do from a consumer purchase perspective, but once AAA has a better grasp on the variety of powersports products available, it will jump into the consumer finance market.
“It’s just a little harder, there is more customization, there are more things to look at on the purchase side, especially with motorcycle, marine, and RV,” he said. “You have to spend a little more time with the transactions.”