Lender Appetite for Lower Credit Boosts Vehicle Sales at Dealership Chain

Freedom Powersports has seen a 30% rise in used-motorcycle and off-road vehicle sales year over year, which it credits to millennial shoppers and lenders buying deeper, Regional Operations Manager Chase Vance told Powersports Finance.

The dealer group had initially projected 15% growth by this point in the season. But sales were up “in a major way” in January, and Freedom Powersports “never saw the lull that we normally see coming into January and February,” Vance said. “The market just seems to be pretty healthy right now,” he added.

Financing has “certainly helped” spur sales growth, Vance said. Across the board, the dealership’s financing penetration rate has grown 5% to 10%, driven by lenders such as Roadrunner Financial and Texas Dow Employees Credit Union buying loans with lower credit scores.

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Additionally, millennial buyers seeking lower-priced vehicles can be credited with propping up sales volume at Freedom Powersports. “New-vehicle registrations are down a little bit,” Vance said. “People who are looking to get into the market — the millennial, Gen X population — will tend to go preowned. That’s what’s growing that market, and with prices of new vehicles continually going up, preowned will always be that happy medium.”

Now the dealer group is making sure that it has enough preowned inventory to supply the demand. Freedom Powersports uses a private buyer to scout out vehicles for its lots. The dealership also urges staff to purchase customer trade-ins, and it’s “having a decent amount of success with that,” Vance added.

Freedom Powersports has stores in Texas, Alabama, and Georgia. The dealer group sells brands such as Polaris, Can-Am, Harley-Davidson, and BMW.

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