RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. — CUDL, which administers the nation's largest point-of-sale and indirect lending network for credit unions, along with Manheim Financial Services, announced the further roll-out of the MAFS Advantage program this week.

Through the partnership between CUDL and MAFS, the MAFS Advantage program opens the door for credit unions to partner with the 15,000 independent dealers that MAFS serves nationwide. As a result, now credit unions have a major new channel to further grow their market share in the vehicle finance arena.

For independent dealers, this program provides a significant new financing source at a time when many banks and financial institutions are pulling back from the marketplace.

CUDL has confirmed that the MAFS Advantage program has been successfully rolled out to a number of markets, including California, North Carolina, Utah, Washington and Oregon. CUDL plans to expand the program into more U.S. markets throughout the remainder of 2008 and into 2009.

Basically, credit unions can benefit from the protection and security features the program offers, which guarantee vehicle title, ensure vehicle trade-ins are paid off, and that all vehicle registration paperwork is successfully handled through each state's motor vehicle department.

The program also provides support to credit unions in the way of real-time dealer intelligence, allowing credit unions real-time access to dealers' financial performance at vehicle auctions.

Additionally, through the partnership between CUDL and MAFS, credit unions' lending programs will be marketed by MAFS through the MAFS Advantage program. 

"This program is designed to help independent dealers better compete in today's challenging environment by taking advantage of credit union financing that is more readily available," explained Kathy Decker, MAFS vice president and general manager. 

"Manheim has a strong relationship with independent dealers and is pleased to help facilitate closer working relationships with credit unions," she added.

Beyond MAFS Advantage, Manheim Automotive Financial Services offers a range of services, including inventory financing for independent car dealers, wholesalers and rental dealers, as well as insurance services and a receivables funding program.

"We're excited to offer a program that provides the additional security and confidence credit unions need to successfully expand their auto loan market share," said Mike James, vice president of strategic initiatives, lending and training at CUDL. 

"The MAFS Advantage program provides credit unions a safe in-road to the independent dealer marketplace, opening a new channel for credit unions to grow their auto loan portfolios," he added.

CUDL to Represent Credit Union Network at NADA

CUDL also recently announced it will be representing its more than 670 credit unions at the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention for the sixth consecutive year. The convention is January 24-27 at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

The largest event for dealers in the U.S., the NADA convention averages more than 25,000 attendees each year, drawing attendance from approximately one third of all U.S. dealerships. 

With the current economic conditions forcing many lending institutions to pull back, if not out, from the auto lending marketplace, CUDL indicated that it considers a credit union presence at NADA will be all the more significant. 

The company noted the great opportunity this year's convention in particular presents for highlighting the increasingly important role credit unions are playing in the auto lending marketplace. 

Credit unions have continued to display marketplace strength in 2008, providing a significant and reliable lending source for dealers. Credit unions have grown their market share by more than 4 percent in 2008, reaching 20 percent share in September.

Building upon last year's success at NADA, CUDL will once again provide a unified credit union presence, with the goal of increasing dealers' awareness of the market place power credit unions possess, representing 86 million potential auto buyers, and to convey the importance and viability of partnerships between credit unions and dealers. 

More than 1,100 attendees visited the CUDL Credit Unions booth during last year's event, reinforcing the growing awareness of credit unions' importance to the industry, officials noted.

"CUDL's representation of its credit unions at the convention further underlines the importance of relationships between credit unions and dealers, and emphasizes the value credit unions see in partnering with dealers for their mutual success," said Tony Boutelle, CUDL's president and chief executive officer.

For more information regarding the NADA Conference and Exposition, credit unions can visit www.nada.org. Furthermore, Credit unions interested in participating at the CUDL Credit Unions' booth during NADA 2008 can contact CUDL via email at events@cudirect.com.