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March 10, 2022

Q&A with Alberto Cairo, Managing Director, Vehicle and Fleet Solutions

By the Solera Insights team

“Solera is on a mission to accelerate the success of dealerships, and aims for its new Solera Auto Finance solution to level the playing field for independent and franchise used car companies. Solera Auto Finance will provide full-spectrum financing, help to improve margins and cut costs while taking customer experiences to new levels.”

Solera started transforming the vehicle insurance claims industry with the first automated vehicle repair system that has greatly impacted the industry from its introduction. Since then, Solera has expanded its SaaS and data platforms to help accelerate the success of dealers, insurers, repairers, and fleets in over 100 countries.

Solera, via Solera Auto Finance, is now turning the tables on traditional brick-and-mortar dealerships and well-known online used car dealers. With Solera Auto Finance, independent and franchise dealers can now match the customer experience and the financing solutions previously only available to the disruptive used-car mega dealers such as Vroom, Carvana, and CarMax. Once again, Solera is transforming the car buying experience for independent and franchise dealerships. Solera Auto Finance empowers dealers to meet customers where they are most comfortable doing business, whether online or in the dealership.

Please tell me about this new finance offering.

Solera Auto Finance is an extension of our mission to accelerate the success of used car dealers. The platform was purpose-built to provide independent and franchise dealers with a full-spectrum auto lending solution for used car buyers. Solera Auto Finance will enable dealers to fast track the sales and financing processes, minimize costs, and grow profits – all while providing an improved customer experience. Plus, it includes a unique rewards program that reduces or eliminates fees for Solera’s integrated Dealer Management Systems (DMS), Auto/Mate and iDMS.

How does Solera Auto Finance level the playing field?

The big disrupters in the used car space have a distinct advantage over most independent and franchise dealerships. They own their own or have a captive financing solution. Solera Auto Finance provides independent and franchise dealers access to a captive-like financing solution that rivals even the most prominent used-car disrupters. The technology will enable car buyers to complete financing applications online or in the dealership and receive financing decisions in seconds. It will also fund the dealer in as little as 24 to 48 hours. And as our AI-driven technology continues to mature, dealer funding time is expected to shrink to mere hours.

The power of Solera allows us to wrap a truly customer-focused finance experience with technology that simplifies and streamlines the entire car-buying experience while lowering costs and increasing profits for dealers. Solera Auto Finance combines a purpose-built lending platform with its best-in-class DMSs, Auto/Mate and iDMS, through seamless integration and workflow to deliver a truly differentiated lending experience for car buyers across all credit bands.

What are the most compelling features of Solera Auto Finance?

Solera Auto Finance will enable franchise and independent dealerships to directly provide a full spectrum of auto finance loans for used car buyers. Solera Auto Finance offers multiple compelling advantages for dealers.

  1. Efficiency on the front-end and the back-end – The used car market has changed dramatically over the past two years. As car prices have rocketed upward and inventory has become scarce, successful dealers have adapted to remain successful. Offering a straightforward financing solution with an all-digital, online option and competitive financing rates can help dealers engage new customers and impress them at every step in the process. On the back end, Solera Auto Finance can offer dealers significant upside, improve the efficiency of their financing, and even drive down costs by rewarding them with discounts of up to 100% off their Solera DMS program fees based on their loan volume.
  2. A fast, simplified lending solution for buyers and dealers – When Solera Auto Finance is launched, we expect instant approval times and dealer funding to be 24-48 hours, start to finish. Using our AI-driven technology we anticipate that dealer funding time will be reduced to hours instead of days. The shift to Solera Auto Finance can accelerate the funding process and improve the experience of car buyers. Today, the funding process can take several days for many independent and franchise dealerships. Solera Auto Finance can change that paradigm for almost any independent and franchise dealer.
  3. Improved accuracy – Leveraging the power of Solera, Solera Auto Finance has created one of the most accurate financing tools on the market. This is good for the dealer and good for their customers.
  4. Reduced friction for car buyers and dealers – Solera’s integration of a purpose-built financing solution into its sophisticated suite of layered dealership applications provides buyers and sellers a smooth workflow and differentiated buying experience online or in the dealership.

Why is Solera launching this product now?

We know the industry, and we listen to our customers. Dealerships are facing more competition than ever before. And, with used car markets changing at break-neck speeds, dealers need all the help they can get to earn and keep customers. One of their most significant areas of concern is competing against mega-dealers disrupting the used car market. We developed Solera Auto Finance to add a new competitive financing solution to Auto/Mate and iDMS and help accelerate the success of independent and franchise dealerships. We are launching as soon as possible to meet the expected demand, starting with seven states then expect to expand to 20 before year-end 2022.

What types of dealerships should be considering Solera Auto Finance?

Any independent or franchise dealership looking for a competitive edge and a pathway to higher profits should consider this solution. Solera Auto Finance will help dealers to increase front-end profits by empowering drivers across credit bands to finance their next used car quickly and efficiently while enabling a superior customer experience. Solera Auto Finance also aims to help dealers to increase back-end profits and cut administrative costs. The Solera rewards program offers the opportunity to eliminate or reduce the cost of Solera’s DMSs.

How does Solera Auto Finance work?

Qualifying dealerships will collaborate with Solera account teams to integrate the Solera Auto Finance module into their existing Solera DMS. They will also be guided to incorporate the appropriate digital tools onto their website and enable online applications and engagement with car buyers.

Non-Solera dealers can also take advantage of this “captive-like” financing solution. A Solera expert can walk them through the straightforward process to get started quickly.

Where is Solera Auto Finance available?

Solera Auto Finance will launch in North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Indiana, Washington, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. We expect more than a dozen states to follow before the end of 2022 and even more in 2023.

Can you share some details about Solera Auto Finance rewards?

Every dealership using Solera Auto Finance and Solera’s DMSs, Auto/Mate and iDMS, will earn rewards based on the number of loan applications processed by Solera Auto Finance each week. Rewards earned provide discounts on either Solera DMS up to 100% of the cost.

How do interested dealers learn more?

Interested dealers can email Solera experts directly at [email protected].

What is the process for dealers to test drive Solera Auto Finance?

Dealers should contact a Solera expert at [email protected].

Getting started is a simple three-step process.
1) Meet with a Solera expert to complete the Solera Auto Finance agreement;
2) Get trained by your Solera Auto Finance team;
3) Start financing your in-person and online used car buyers.