Texas Dow Employees Credit Union (TDECU) saw a 45% increase in year-over-year powersports loan originations from March 2016 versus the same time last year, Chuck Smith, TDECU’s senior vice president and chief lending officer, told Powersports Finance.
“The first three months of this year have been really strong,” Smith said. “Our largest month of originations on the specialty vehicle side was last month.”
Lake Jackson, Texas-based TDECU attributes this strong growth to high consumer confidence, according to Smith. “To buy this kind of product, they [consumers] have to feel good about things that are going on in the economy,” he said. “Consumer confidence is not at an all-time high, but people feel really good about how they have a job, and they will keep it to go out and purchase a luxury item.”
However, consumer confidence may not be the only attributable factor to increased financing volume, Smith said, it’s possible that overall sales are up for a vehicle segment, or that some lenders may have exited powersports financing.
“So you don’t know if sales are up or if you are just getting a bigger piece of the market,” he added. “It’s not like cars where there is a whole lot of data to [gauge] marketshare; it’s hard to tell with powersports,” but “if you talk to a lot of people where their financing is up year over year, overall the consumer is purchasing more.”
TDECU is partnered with more than 75 powersports dealers throughout Texas, and finances prime consumers for new and pre-owned vehicles.