'Got Wheels' Got Volume (Thanks To Some Incentives)

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University of Virginia Community Credit Union here reported it boosted auto loan volume here by 70% during a 10-week campaign themed, "Got Wheels." During the promo the credit union said it did some $1.7-million per week in new car loans, generating $17.5-million in loans and far exceeding its $7-million goal.

The big driver in this year's campaign? According to VP-Marketing Janine Williams, "The big difference this year: we created an incentive program that tapped the enthusiasm and knowledge of our employees," she said.

Under the "Got Wheels" promotion, members could refinance an existing car loan or purchase a new or used car at 5.75%. Each credit union employee would receive an incentive of $10 for each of the first five closed loans they referred and $25 for each closed loan after that. In addition, the top performer would receive two days off with pay and a two-night stay at a hotel in Virginia Beach.

The credit union divided "all" employees into three teams, with the team closing the most referrals by the end of the campaign would be treated to dinner.

In all, 1,078 loans were closed. The credit union's 113 employees turned in 2,039 referrals. Of these, 624 referrals led to completed loans, representing 58% of the loans disbursed during the period. One person, Pat Webber, completed 59 referrals. Overall, the credit union paid out $11,925 in incentives.

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