Carmakers’ captive finance units dominated the J.D. Power's 2013 U.S. Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study. Ranked as the No. 1 auto lender among volume brands is Kia Motors with a score of 851 on a 1,000-point scale. Unranked in 2012, Kia Motor Finance was slightly ahead of VW Credit, Hyundai Motor Finance and Ford Credit, respectively.
Among luxury brands, Lincoln Automotive Financial Services was at the top with a score of 875. Trailing behind Lincoln Automotive Financial Services is BMW Financial Services.
While captive finance firm beat banks and independent finance companies for the top spots in the ranking survey, several lenders weren’t ranked -- including some of the biggest-volume lenders in the United States -- due to small sample sizes. The study showed that 50 percent of costumers are most influenced by dealership recommendations on their choice of dealers.
It also showed that customers are more satisfied with lenders when they providing easily understood "welcome aboard" materials. The survey also showed that higher levels of customer satisfaction could mean higher future loyalty, as 95 percent of auto finance customers who said they were "highly satisfied" said they were likely to decide the same lender again.
Likewise, the survey showed that auto finance customers in the luxury segment were more highly satisfied overall than those in the mass-market segment. In previous editions of the survey, JD Power and Associates provided four separate rankings – classified by loans and leases, luxury and mass-market brands. For this year, loans and leases were combined.