J.D. Power sees the coronavirus pandemic as a significant opportunity for Canadian auto finance companies, especially as overall industry satisfaction readings are mixed year-over-year.

As the operational and financial effects of COVID-19 cause havoc to the auto sector and bring new-vehicle sales to a crawl, J.D. Power said lenders have a unique opportunity to support dealers and position themselves competitively in the post-pandemic era.

In fact, according to the J.D. Power 2020 Canada Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study released on Thursday, dealers’ satisfaction with their lender hinges on the lender’s ability to be responsive, provide value-added insights and leverage digital communications.

“The current environment has ramped up the need for digital channels,” said Patrick Roosenberg, director of automotive finance at J.D. Power. “As lenders further develop their digital channels, dealers will need training to fully execute transactions from credit applications to funding. This is an area where lenders can excel and gain a competitive edge.

“Even when the social distancing requirements subside allowing shoppers to go back into dealerships, these digital transactions will continue to grow as consumer demand dictates the desire for this option,” Roosenberg continued in a news release.

Within the study, dealers identified the most preferred communication channels through which they want to interact with sales representatives and retail credit analysts.

Additionally, sales reps who exceed dealer expectations by providing their dealer partners with specific value-added insights and competitive intelligence can have a significant effect on overall satisfaction and dealer intent to send more business, according to J.D. Power.

“Lenders need to capitalize on their sales representatives’ ability to capture incremental business and utilize the most-effective communication channels,” Roosenberg said. “Doing so will allow them to cater to the needs of dealers and help overcome current challenges, and it will act as a springboard for future mutual business growth in the post-pandemic era.”

Study rankings

J.D. Power highlighted Acura Financial Services ranked highest in the captive lender segment with a score of 934 (on a 1,000-point scale).

Ford Credit came in second at 912, and Honda Financial Services landed in third at 886 ranked third.

J.D. Power pointed out overall satisfaction in the captive segment declined to 869 from 883 in 2019.

Among non-captive lenders, J.D. Power noted that TD Auto Finance ranked highest for the third consecutive year with a score of 912.

Scotiabank came in second at 908, and Conexus Credit Union landed in third at 901.

In the non-captive segment, J.D. Power noted overall satisfaction climbed to 889, up from 878 in 2019.

In the lease segment — a new addition to the 2020 study — J.D. Power said Ford Credit ranked highest with a score of 903. Honda Financial Services finished second at 888, and Toyota Financial Services came in third at 885.

The lease segment’s overall satisfaction score was 859, according to J.D. Power.

The 2020 Canada Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study, now in its 22nd year, captured 7,782 finance provider evaluations across the three segments from new-vehicle dealerships in Canada. The study was fielded in February.

Retail Rankings — Captive

Acura Financial Services: 934
Ford Credit: 912
Honda Financial Services: 886
Toyota Financial Services: 882
Segment average: 869
Kia Motors Finance: 865
Hyundai Motor Finance: 831
GM Financial: 795
Nissan Canada Finance: 795

Retail Rankings — Non-captive

TD Auto Finance: 912
Scotiabank: 908
Conexus Credit Union: 901
Segment average: 889
Bank of Montreal: 888
RBC Royal Bank: 873
Scotia Dealer Advantage: 867
Caisse Populaire Desjardins: 858
CIBC: 849
ATB Financial: 843
IA Auto Finance: 843
Greater Bank of Canada: 834
National Bank of Canada: 829
Tricor Lease & Finance Corp.: 816
AutoCapital Canada: 793
Carfinco: 749


Ford Credit: 903
Honda Financial Services: 888
Toyota Financial Services: 885
Segment average: 859
Kia Motors Finance: 850
Hyundai Motor Finance: 813
Nissan Canada Finance: 795
GM Financial: 786
SCI Lease Corp.: 640