Lenders Brainstorm Underwriting Strategies to Sway Millennials

Dealer Direct’s National Sales Director Jon Vestal participates in a panel discussion at PowerSports Finance 2017.

LAS VEGAS — As the powersports finance demographic shifts to millennials, lenders are brainstorming ways to target these consumers, according to panelists at PowerSports Finance 2017 last month.

Dealer Direct, for example, is focusing “considerably more” on monthly payments and longer terms, rather than on rate, National Sales Director Jon Vestal told attendees.

The older demographic of buyers are much more “rate sensitive” than millennials, Vestal said. “I think if we continue to focus on payment over rate and payment over term, we can overcome some of the rate sensitivity while trying to capture [that market],” he said.

Looking at rates as a way to capture marketshare is only a short-term play, said Lyndon Elam, vice president of retail sales, marketing, and operations at Yamaha Motor Finance Corp. USA. To that end, Yamaha has found some success by using alternative credit scoring for thin-file applicants who tend to be younger.

“We’ve been doing this for the past two-and-a-half years, and we’ve developed a portfolio of $6 million,” Elam said. Yamaha Motor Finance — founded in 2015 — is the captive finance arm of Yamaha Motor Corp.

For more coverage on PowerSports Finance 2017click here.

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