Millennials are in the market to buy cars. Are you in the market to lend to them?
According to Cox Automotive, Millennials are on pace to account for 40 percent of all vehicle sales by 2020. While it seemed like Millennials would never enter the market the way preceding generations had, this demographic is quickly making up for lost time.
Most of the Millennials with buying power today entered the job market around 2008 with record high student loan debt. Jobs were beyond scarce. High quality talent from Gen X and Boomers had flooded the market due to a markedly higher unemployment rate. It was virtually impossible for a recent college graduate to compete with a more experienced Boomer or Gen Xer for that entry-level job. Everyone was willing to work for less just to get by. These economic conditions made all those milestones of becoming an adult seem that much further away for Millennials. They deferred student loans, went back to school, moved in with their parents, and created innovative ways to save money.
A decade later, Millennials have a much greater ability to buy a vehicle, buy a house, get married and have children. However, their past experiences have greatly impacted their current buying habits. According to Cox Automotive:
- 83 percent say an affordable monthly payment is very important when selecting a lender.
- 39 percent financed their vehicle through a lender directly.
- 54 percent prefer to research financing options online.
This is good news for auto lenders, especially those credit unions and financial institutions that already have personal relationships with consumers. The more options you provide to help Millennials balance their budget, the better. And, even better, most lenders already provide budget calculators, lending criteria, online loan applications, etc., online.
But, how do you go above and beyond the competition to appeal to this generation directly? Think about it in terms of budgets.
This budget-driven generation wants more value for their money. Their monthly payment is a higher priority than the total cost of a vehicle. And, they want to protect their budget from uncertain eventualities.
One strategic way of appealing to Millennials is by structuring your loans with complimentary F&I products, like limited powertrain or vehicle return protection, that protect their budgets. These products protect consumers from unforeseen circumstances that can negatively affect their ability to make their car or house payments. For example, powertrain protection gives consumers more control over their monthly budget by taking care of some of the largest expenses related to a vehicle breakdown, the engine and transmission. Meanwhile, vehicle return protection offers consumers a safety net to relieve their lease or loan obligation when unforeseen life events occur, like:
- involuntary unemployment;
- physical or mental disability; or,
- critical illness, etc.
EFG Companies has been innovating consumer protection products for more than 40 years. We know how to keep you relevant with the current generation with F&I strategies that target the concerns of today’s consumers. Contact us today to find out how.