Going the distance

Auto loans are a bread-and-butter offering across the credit union landscape, but amid new technologies, changing consumer preferences and increased disruption, plenty of CUs are finding ways to make this product more exciting.

Throughout the month of May, Credit Union Journal has reported on recent trends and developments across the auto lending space. Those stories are collected here. Read on for more.
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EVs on the rise at CUs?

Why is 2% an important number for credit union auto sales? All-electric, zero-emission vehicles make up just 2% of the total auto lending landscape in the country, but some credit unions are doing their part to boost that figure. But the EV market isn't identical to traditional auto lending, and credit unions entering that space face challenges unique to that particular product.

For more, click here.
Winter fantastic wood and the lonely road, reflected in an automobile mirror of a back kind

Putting the Polar Vortex in the rear view mirror

After several years of strong auto sales, many had predicted things beginning to slow in 2019. What some lenders didn't expect, however, was such an immediate cooling-off period. That's exactly what they got at the start of this year thanks to the Polar Vortex and a colder-than-average winter. Here's how the long winter impacted auto lending at credit unions across the country.

ELT is coming

Despite living in a digital world, more than half of states still use paper to track auto liens.

This creates numerous headaches for lenders, including credit unions, such as increasing costs and the potential for fraud. Because of that, credit unions are hoping more states switch to online systems for car titles and liens.

For more on the push to electronic lien and title systems and the role credit unions are playing in that, click here.
A panel of auto dealers spoke during the 2019 CU Direct Drive conference in Las Vegas. From left: Scott Stephens, general sales manager, Chapman Auto Group, Las Vegas; Oliver Young, director of sales and marketing, Young Automotive Group, Utah; Hannah Lutz, editor and reporter, Automotive News; Nathan Post, general sales manager, Rusty Wallace Auto Group, Tennessee; James Knudson, general sales manager Dwayne Lane Auto Family Dealerships, Washington.

Hear direct from indirect-lending partners

Want to know how auto dealers really feel about credit unions and what the industry can do to improve relations (and, in turn, boost indirect lending)? A panel of dealers from across the country offered their insights into the good, the bad and the ugly of working with credit unions, and how even in the best relationships there's still room for improvement.

For more, click here.
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Is a recession coming?

What will President Trump's tariffs and the U.S.-China trade war mean for auto lending? How will consumers respond to fears of a recession? What can we learn from current economic indicators?

The short answer is: it depends who you ask. Two economists offered differing predictions of what the next 18 months might hold during CU Direct's recent DRIVE conference in Las Vegas.

Click here for more.
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Puerto Rico said 'adios' to auto lending boom

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, credit unions based on the U.S. mainland with a branch presence in Puerto Rico saw limited demand for loans – with the exception of auto lending. That part of the portfolio boomed, but nearly two years after the storm there are signs the good times may be over with demand returning to more traditional levels.
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Saying goodbye to subprime borrowers?

Credit unions make a big deal about their willingness to lend to consumers of modest means and less-than-perfect credit, but when it comes to meeting those consumers' needs in the auto lending space, the competition is eating credit unions' lunch. And while that strategy has helped the industry avoid some problems with rising delinquencies, it has also raised questions about whether CUs are serving the people the movement was chartered to help.

For more, click here.
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CU Direct DRIVEs forward

This month included CU Direct's annual DRIVE conference, which included not just remarks from Roger Hull, the CUSO's chief product officer (pictured above), but also commentary on disruption, digital retail trends, a shifting lending landscape and much more.

Highlights from day one can be found here.

Highlights from day two can be found here.