The featured AFSA Business Partner for July is Cox Automotive Solutions.
What are some key initiatives for your clients in 2022 that you are planning to support?
Over the past several years, digital efficiency trends have increasingly helped businesses develop and streamline operations. No matter how market conditions shift, technology solutions, AI and automation will continue to pave the way for what’s next. Furthering lender efficiencies is core to our areas of focus — both transactionally for better dealer and consumer experiences as well as operationally for more streamlined internal processes and workflows. These include:
- Increasing Digitization — Optimizing the Originations Experience & Workflow: The 2022 Cox Automotive Car Buying Financing Journey (key highlights covered in our AFSA webinar replay) found that consumers who use digital financing tools for their purchase have higher levels of trust and loyalty for their chosen lender. These buyers also save time and have higher levels of satisfaction with their transactions. We continue to optimize our digital contracting solution, rolling out enhancements (e.g., remote signing) and new tools at the front of originations (e.g., automating alternative approved deal structures) that help finalize deals faster, improve consumer satisfaction and help lenders reach their market share/book of business potential.
- Risk Mitigation: As consumers move more of their purchasing steps online, there’s a heightened concern around fraud. To mitigate fraudulent activity, we are focused on ensuring our technologies and services help detect fraud before and during the purchase process. By enacting artificial intelligence tools within our digital retailing and eCommerce solutions, these tools help detect identity theft and synthetic identities as well as incorporate important verification steps for facial recognition, drivers’ licenses, income and credit reporting.
Compliance and risk concerns continue well beyond originations and funding. With heightened scrutiny on lender practices and legislation/rules around aftermarket cancellations varying by state (with more putting the onus on lenders, and the CFPB watching closely), we’ve expanded our Express Recoveries solution to where lenders can entrust outsourcing their entire cancellation and refund process to us, and ensure accurate refunds reach each consumer within their particular state’s required timeframes.
- Leveraging Business Insights & Data: This year, Cox Automotive launched DRiVEQ, a data intelligence engine leveraging first-party consumer, market, and vehicle data from across the company’s broad portfolio of brands. Cox Automotive’s unmatched data sets allow us to offer lenders a complete view of both the consumer and the vehicle to inform their planning and help them better develop business strategies. For example, KBB and Manheim MMR vehicle valuation solutions, powered by DriveQ, arm lenders with the most comprehensive and current data to manage their portfolio and make informed asset management decisions.
What’s the best part about being an AFSA Business Partner?
AFSA is an invaluable business partner — an industry collaborator as passionate about supporting and enabling lenders as we are. Our collaborative efforts help us stay connected with lenders beyond just yearly events, ensuring that they stay informed, feel they have a voice representing their interests when legislation is introduced, and receive the support they deserve as pillars of sustaining a healthy auto retailing ecosystem.
What’s one thing about life and/or business that you have learned from your clients?
Two words immediately come to mind: Resiliency and Grit. The past few years created an avalanche of unprecedented challenges — from business closures to the chip shortage leading to inventory shortages and now rising inflation leading to affordability issues. Whatever obstacles have been thrown in the paths of lenders, they have overcome. It’s their openness to finding new ways of doing things and their willingness to partner and trust Cox Automotive that inspire us to continue our research and development work to keep dealers open for business and lender financing thriving.
What might people be surprised to know about your company?
Although Cox Enterprises (the parent company of Cox Automotive) is a global entity with more than 50 thousand employees, it remains family owned 124 years after its founding and places a high value on staying human at its core. We know lenders and dealers participate in local community and humanitarian efforts, and Cox proudly shares the same underlying values of giving back to our local and national communities, the environment, and the world in which we live.
Community programs across Cox businesses include a partnership with the Red Cross to assist with disaster relief efforts, as well as many other hands-on volunteer projects across the U.S. Financial donations support non-profits across many sectors, including childhood education and children’s health. The company also has an employee relief fund — made up entirely of Cox team members contributing financial aid to those who experience unexpected hardship (for example, when Hurricane Ida made landfall as a Category 4 in 2021). The company’s numerous green initiatives include a nationwide sustainability program within its walls called “Cox Conserves”: Teams in buildings across the United States are working towards the company goal of sending zero waste to landfills by 2024. And at a business level, Cox also invests in greenhouses and supports clean water programs.
Cox Automotive employees embody this culture of “putting people and planet first,” and in this spirit support customers, clients, and community with its own humanitarian initiatives. For example, each year Cox Automotive presents a Leader in Sustainability Award to honor automotive industry professionals that demonstrate equal commitment to the environment. This year Cox Automotive was proud to bestow this honor upon LaFontaine Automotive Group for their outstanding sustainability initiatives and community contributions.
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