Maryann Keller to Keynote CU Direct’s DRIVE ’17

Maryann Keller, Principal of Maryann Keller & Associates, was selected as a keynote speaker at CU Direct’s DRIVE ’17 Conference.

DRIVE ’17 is the premier credit union conference to help credit union leaders, lending executives and managers achieve better results in lending performance with the knowledge and insight from industry disruptors. CU Direct, the nation’s second largest originator of auto loans, will host DRIVE ’17 from May 23 – 25, 2017 at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.


Maryann’s keynote topic will occur on May 25, from 1:30pm to 2:30pm PST; she will discuss “The Next 3 Years of Automotive Retail:”

Although the past few years were favorable for dealers and lenders, the next three will bring change in some ways. As new vehicle sales plateau and even decline in years ahead, dealers will see further pressure on new car profit margins as they remain squeezed between manufacturer and the increasingly-competitive market environment.  To augment falling new car profit margins, smart dealers will seek new and improved pathways to profitability.  Among them will be greater sales efficiencies, such as Sonic’s One initiative, which aims to allow seamless online transactions.  This may eliminate, in part, the traditional finance office that permits manager discretion as to where to place deals for approval and funding.  Second, back-end F&I grosses will be further emphasized – with dealers naturally sending new car paper to their favored lenders…for a price of course.  Third, used car sales will serve as more important profit center for dealers – with CPO sales at franchised dealers further accelerating in light of expected manufacturer incentives and rate subvention from captive finance lenders.

How will some of these changes affect auto lending?

  • Auto lenders must improve the speed of their operations. Ranging from auto-approvals to quicker funding, lenders must improve the speed of their frontend and backend transactions.
  • Auto lenders must embrace technology (and transparency). In-dealership e-commerce platforms and mobile apps will become more common, and lenders must provide compatible technology and solutions to assist their dealer partners. The role of lender-based automotive shopping sites, and data-based direct marketing initiatives, will bring change to the auto shopper funnel and related lender loyalty. Transparency in auto lending will only grow (and be expected).
  • Auto lenders must create programs to prepare for record supply. Captives will be more active in used cars; with subvented programs for CPO cars that will control residual values but steer away business from non-captive lenders. Non-captive lenders will experiment with used car leasing, extended loan terms, and dealer incentives. The quality of lender’s portfolios will change rapidly, as lenders adjust their risk appetite based on a variety of dynamic criteria.


To learn more about DRIVE ’17, please visit CU Direct’s website.