Ford, Lincoln captives top consumer financing satisfaction study — again

The captive finance companies for the Ford and Lincoln brands have locked in another year atop the rankings of J.D. Power’s annual U.S. Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study. 2017 marks the third straight year that the captives dominated their respective market segments.

Lincoln Automotive Financial Services was No. 1 in overall satisfaction among luxury brands for the fourth year in a row. Lincoln scored 890 points on a 1,000-point scale, up from 879 a year earlier. The study measures customers’ overall satisfaction hinging on four factors: billing and payment, onboarding process, phone contact and website.

Lexus Financial Services was second among luxury brands, scoring 875, up from 857. Acura Financial Services came in third, at 869. The average score for the luxury-brand segment was 860.

Ford Motor Credit Co. for the third straight year topped the rankings in the mass-market segment, scoring 857 points, up from 856 the year before. BB&T/Regional Acceptance Corp. and Honda Financial Services tied for second at 855. The mass-market segment average was 836.

Digital offerings

The website factor, that is, the range of services conducted online, had the most impact on overall satisfaction, according to the study, released Monday. Differences in the execution of the digital application process generated a significant gap between the highest- and lowest-ranking lenders, J.D. Power said.

“With such erratic approaches to digitization, many auto lenders are failing to successfully capitalize on tremendous cost-cutting opportunities that have proven to boost customer satisfaction,” Jim Houston, senior director of automotive finance at J.D. Power, said in a statement. “With some lenders varying widely on ease-of-use satisfaction scores for their digital offerings, a huge opportunity is going unmet by many.”

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