Listerhill Credit Union spring auto sale delivers deals
MUSCLE SHOALS, AL (June 21, 2016) — The last time Listerhill Credit Union hosted an auto sale, Ronald Reagan was President, “We Are The World” was filling the airwaves, and the Nintendo Entertainment System was making its debut. A gallon of gasoline was $1.09 and the average cost of a new car was $9,000.
Flash forward 31 years and one thing is still the same – people want to get great deals on cars at a good rate.
“In northwest Alabama, Listerhill has always been known as the place to get an auto loan,” said Jeff Ayers, Indirect Loan Officer with Listerhill. “Our Spring Auto Sale was an opportunity for people in this area to get the loan and the vehicle at Listerhill.”
Ayers said that the sale, which featured 13 area auto dealers and nearly 300 used vehicles at Listerhill’s Main Office location in Muscle Shoals, had been in the works for nearly two years prior to the event, which was held from May 19-21.
“Since most of us were not around the last time Listerhill hosted a sale, we had some work to do,” said Listerhill Marketing Manager Drew Edwards. “Fortunately, other credit unions were willing to share some best practices with us so that we didn’t go blindly into the process.”
Edwards visited two Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union auto sales in south Alabama in September of 2015 and April of this year to speak with credit union representatives and local dealers onsite.
“The advice and insight I received were invaluable to helping us plan for Listerhill’s Auto Sale,” said Edwards. “The kind of comradery and idea sharing that exists among credit unions is what makes our industry special.”
Edwards also said that project planning for the Spring Auto Sale began in January through the formation of a cross-sectional team involving individuals from Listerhill’s Indirect Lending, Consumer Lending, Facilities, IT, and Marketing departments. During the actual event, Listerhill “Ambassadors,” or employee event volunteers, helped to welcome visitors, drive courtesy vehicles, and provide hospitality services to dealers and visitors onsite.
According to Ayers, Listerhill’s Spring Auto Sale was a huge success – especially considering it was the first one held in the area in more than thirty years.
“We saw approval rates 15% higher than normal during this sale, and dealers were able to move out over a quarter of their inventory,” Ayers said. “Compared to last May, Listerhill disbursed 81% more indirect loans this May, and a good portion of that increase was due to the auto sale.” Ayers also added that compared to all indirect loans for 2015, the percentage of auto sale deals funded after approval jumped nearly 20%.
“Listerhill’s Spring Auto Sale brought out a lot of serious buyers, and our numbers reflected that well,” said Ayers.
“We’ve had a lot of customers come out,” said Adam Rue of Muscle Shoals-based Adam Rue Auto Sales. “We’ve sold a lot of cars. We’ve done a lot of Listerhill loans. I think it’s been a good thing for the credit union and a good thing for our dealership,” said Rue.
According to Edwards, about two thousand visitors came through the gates during the three-day sale.
Listerhill Marketing Director Chris Anderson said that timing was crucial in putting together the Spring Auto Sale, which was advertised using local television and radio buys in addition to a preapproval direct mail campaign.
“In Alabama, football rules in the Fall,” said Anderson. “We believed that mid-May was better for several reasons, and it proved to be the perfect time.”
Anderson added that the weather also cooperated with temperatures in the low 80’s and heavy rain that was forecasted for Friday stayed away.
“We’re looking forward to making Listerhill’s Auto Sale an even bigger event in the future,” said Listerhill President/CEO Brad Green. “This year’s success is a clear demonstration of what happens when people work together toward Listerhill’s mission to improve lives in our community.”
About Listerhill Credit Union
Listerhill Credit Union is a nonprofit, member-owned financial institution. Founded by Shoals residents 71 years ago, Listerhill has grown to include 92,000 members, $1.2 billion in assets and 17 branches, making it the 7th largest credit union based in Alabama. For more information, please visit www.listerhill.com or call 800-239-6033.