Westlake Financial Services is looking to use a pair of technology advancements in an effort to drum up more business for the finance company that specializes in subprime retail installment contracts.
First this week, Westlake launched an online indirect auto finance pre-qualification platform for new and returning customers looking to finance their next vehicle.
Also, Westlake recently formed a partnership with AutoGravity, a FinTech company that says it’s on a mission to transform auto financing by harnessing the power of the smartphone. The partnership is to provide access to Westlake auto financing options through the innovative AutoGravity digital platform. Qualified buyers are now able to access a broader set of auto finance options through the AutoGravity iOS, Android and Web Apps.
To conclude 2016, Westlake said it dedicated multiple resources to develop a new online platform that aims to make the vehicle buying process — which the company acknowledged can sometimes be confusing and difficult — simple and stress-free.
“By offering online pre-qualification, we help car buyers discover their buying power without affecting their credit,” said Ralph Ontiveros, vice president of Westlake Lending Solutions.
“Upon approval, customers can view inventory available from dealerships that fit their pre-qualification parameters and set up a test drive with the car of their choice at the selected dealership all before closing their browser,” Ontiveros said.
Westlake only offers online pre-qualification in the state of California, but plans to expand to other states throughout 2017. Customers outside of California are not yet able to obtain a pre-qualification or view inventory, but can still go through the financing process online and will be directed to nearby dealers participating in Westlake’s network of over 50,000 preferred dealership program.
“Our goal was to commence 2017 with a platform that benefits car buyers and we achieved just that with this online launch,” said Ian Anderson, group president of Westlake Financial Services. “We even developed incentives to give back to returning customers and to show our appreciation to new customers who choose to finance with us.”
Westlake currently offers vouchers for use toward down payment in the amounts of $200 to new customers and up to $500 to returning customers, based on the amount financed and other select criteria.
Meanwhile with this other partnership, AutoGravity can provide Westlake products to a growing population of digital-first vehicle shoppers. AutoGravity customers, in turn, can benefit from an expanded set of financing options for the vehicle they purchase.
“We created AutoGravity to improve the car financing experience by putting multiple finance options in the palms of customers' hands,” said Andy Hinrichs, founder and chief executive officer of AutoGravity. “Our partnership with Westlake Financial Services drives more customers to dealerships and expands Westlake's ability to finance customers with all credit types.”
AutoGravity contends that it realizes the full potential of smartphone technology to quickly connect vehicle shoppers with finance companies and dealers that fit their needs. Customers can select any new vehicle by make, model and trim, find nearby dealerships that carries that vehicle, apply for financing and choose from up to four personalized financing options in the app. Equipped with an understanding of their options, car shoppers can go to the dealership with financing in hand and close their deal with confidence.
“Westlake is constantly looking to stay ahead of the competition by leveraging technology and allowing for immediate financing options. Putting Westlake financing options on the AutoGravity platform is a great opportunity to expand Westlake's reach to more customers and to help improve the car buying experience for everyone," said Chris Urban, senior vice president of risk management at Westlake Financial Services.
Indirect financing options from Westlake Financial Services are now available on AutoGravity mobile and web apps as a selectable finance company choice.
Westlake’s Dealer Lead Program provides qualified customers actively searching for a new vehicle as free leads to the dealership. For more information, call Westlake Services & Lending Solutions at (877) 285-6971.