3 executive moves at GrooveCar as credit-union member reach jumps nearly 60%


As the number of credit union members its platform now can reach swelled nearly 60 percent year-over-year, GrooveCar adjusted its executive team with additional resources to support its credit union partners.

Three new management positions highlight GrooveCar’s increased focus on growing credit union’s auto financing business.

As director of business development, the company said Robert O’Hara now will oversee the management and growth of the GrooveCar credit union relations and GrooveCar Direct. O’Hara has worked in the credit union industry since 2001 and has been with GrooveCar since 2011, leading the development and growth of the GrooveCar Direct auto buying platform.

In his new role, the company explained O’Hara is tasked with growing GrooveCar’s credit union relationships in current and new markets and developing new automotive related financial programs and services for credit unions.

Prior to joining GrooveCar, O’Hara served as vice president of lending at Sperry Associates Federal Credit Union.

As manager of credit union relations, Daniel Bauer joined GrooveCar to fill this critical new position, supporting O’Hara. The company indicated Bauer will focus on managing current and future credit union relationships in the daily operations of GrooveCar.

Bauer has worked in the credit union industry for the last nine years in a variety of financing support roles with increasing levels of responsibility. He will work with credit union partners to provide training and auto financing program support for all GrooveCar products and services.

Prior to joining GrooveCar, Bauer held the position of regional lending specialist at Bethpage FCU. 

Furthermore, as director of dealer services, Frank Rinaudo will continue to lead the dealer relations area of operations with full focus on growing the automotive dealer base in current and future markets.

Executing on strategies to grow retail and lease business for our credit union partners is linked directly with the management and expansion of dealer relationships, and GrooveCar highlighted that Rinaudo is uniquely qualified to lead this critical effort.

Prior to joining GrooveCar more than 16 years ago, Rinaudo was with GE Capital Auto Financial Services.

Member reach grows by 58 percent

In other company news, GrooveCar recently released performance analytics for its online auto buying platform. The company said the newly compiled numbers demonstrate a rise in online engagement and participation year-over-year by members.

GrooveCar now reaches more than 4.3 million members, representing an increase of 58 percent over the previous year.

“These numbers are important as they tell a story of growth among the credit union community. The shift to online car buying is happening before our eyes. Members depend on the information provided by their trusted credit union to make important financial decisions, said Eric Budzinski, associate vice president at GrooveCar.

The GrooveCar Direct program has signed more than 250 credit unions of all sizes since 2016. The company believes the platform is an affordable online destination for vehicle research and shopping. Most credit unions consider an ROI-friendly platform a prerequisite to compete for auto financing among their members.

GrooveCar also share other analytics about member activity.

In the category of credit unions with less than 5,000 members, traffic grew by 62 percent over the previous year.

For credit unions above 5,000 and below, 100,000 members traffic increased by 61 percent over the previous year, and for larger credit unions of more than 100,000 members, traffic increased by 92 percent.

Budzinski pointed out the more time spent on promoting the resource had a direct effect on the engagement and traffic metrics.

“We found that the larger CUs, with members of 100,000 or more, spent additional time on getting the word out to members,” Budzinski said. “However, when the collateral marketing materials were used by all the credit unions, engagement increased dramatically, as the traffic metrics demonstrate.”

Other important engagement metrics include KPI (key performance indicator) data categories. These data categories support how members are using GrooveCar for their research needs when visiting pages of interest, how long they stayed researching and how quickly they left.

GrooveCar discovered that the average number of pages visited by each user increased by 6.8 percent, and the average length of time for each website visit also increased by 4.5 percent.

Finally, the number of single page visits decreased by 7.4 percent.

In total, GrooveCar determined that engagement rose more than 74 percent year-over-year.

The GrooveCar program utilizes analytics to help credit unions understand what's working and where attention needs to go.

“We can view performance of campaigns and work to understand how to reach members more effectively,” Budzinski said. “Auto loans are not an instant transaction, however with an auto buying platform, members are helped along in the decision-making process, with everything they need at their fingertips.

“The analytics construct an authentic picture of how the resource is helping to engage members while pointing out where improvements should be made. The program comes with all the tools, marketing collateral and support for credit unions to supply important auto buying resources for members, in a turn-key fashion,” he went on to say.