Subprime lender American Cycle Finance has experienced 200% origination growth so far this year, and President Ben Donnarumma credits the company’s focus on customer service for driving more business.
“The biggest thing that spurred growth is our customer service, because we come from the dealership background and we understand [the dealers],” Donnarumma told Powersports Finance. “Half the people who work for me came from the car dealership side. They understand the retail end of it and that the dealer’s problems are our problems.”
Donnarumma has worked in the auto and powersports industries since 1993, and at one point owned multiple dealerships and a finance company. Eventually, Donnarumma decided to focus exclusively on the finance company because of its growing performance and brought several employees from the dealerships to work at the lender.
American Cycle Finance knows that speed is vital at the dealership, and the lender must accommodate that. An emphasis on speed relates to getting customers approved for a loan faster before the sale window closes.
“Time is of the essence,” Donnarumma said. “Nothing good happens when a customer leaves [the dealership]. They don’t come back and say, ‘You know what? I’m going to buy a more expensive motorcycle,’ or ‘I’m going to buy two motorcycles.” It’s almost always something bad, like they don’t have their down payment or they changed their mind.”
The lender manually looks at every application but it also utilizes technology to increase the speed and accuracy of approvals. Additionally, dealers are given the cell phone numbers of American Cycle Finance management and representatives so that they can be reached anytime for questions or problems.
American Cycle Finance aims to continue to grow into the new year and plans to experience triple-digit origination growth 2019, too. The Marlborough, Mass.-based lender moved locations four months ago to a campus-like office complex, with separate buildings for insurance, sales, marketing, and credit. The lender works with 350 dealers in 30 states and plans to be nationwide in 2020.
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