Ally Financial has launched a program around the United States to help dealers attract more customers to their showrooms. Andrea Riley, Ally's chief marketing officer for global automotive services, said during the American Financial Services Association Vehicle Finance Conference that dealers have great new products, but nobody knows about them.
The program entails for Ally to work with a local dealership and set up a vehicle display at a neighborhood "hot spot." For example, Ally has held events at Starbucks locations, grocery stores and home-improvement stores, which the company considers as hot spots.
On the hot spots, consumers can receive a product presentation and fill out a survey. Riley remarked that consumers can ask to be contacted by a dealership or sign up for a test drive.
Although the offers vary, consumers may get a small reward at the display site like a $5 Starbucks card, and a bigger reward like a $50 gasoline card if they proceed to the dealership and take a test drive. Ally reimburses the dealership for the $50 card if the customer purchases a vehicle through a financing by Ally.
Riley remarked that the program contains some unusual aspects. One of them is that is that it is not a carmaker program, but Ally’s. Also the program is not exclusive to one carmaker.
Riley quipped that Ally has rolled out programs for dealers of its biggest customers, General Motors and Chrysler Group. She remarked that a pilot program started in March 2012 at four locations. By end of 2012, Ally had placed displays in 13 major metropolitan areas like Houston, Detroit, Atlanta and Los Angeles.