GrooveCar, Inc., which provides auto lending and leasing services for credit unions across the country, is celebrating a banner year in 2017 with plans to continue its growth in 2018.

The company announced it wrote nearly 15,000 leases in 2017, for a total of more than 105,000 leases valued at more than $4 billion since the company was launched in 2006, with each credit union repaid the full residual amount on mor ethan 50,000 matured leases.

Also, in 2017, under the lease program, the average customer had a 770 FICO score and took out a 36-month term.

“CU Xpress Lease continues to outperform the competitors to deliver a program credit unions can compete with at the point-of-sale,” said Robert O’Hara, GrooveCar's vice president of strategic alliances.

Robert O'Hara, GrooveCar
Robert O'Hara, vice president of strategic alliances at GrooveCar

New programs, the company added, are continually being added to help credit unions reach their lending goals. In Southern California, for example, O’Hara said CU Xpress Lease is seeing “increased traction” through expansion activities in that region along with the addition of a dedicated dealer-relationship manager for that territory.

“Working directly with our partners and dealerships is just one of the ways we accomplish increased reach,” he added. “This is one of the hottest lease markets in the country; credit unions without a lease program will miss out on nearly 70 percent of the new vehicles sold.”

GrooveCar noted that, overall, leasing represents 30 percent of all new car sales across the U.S., but in urban areas this number climbs to 70 percent at select dealers.

In addition, CU Xpress Lease expects 2018 to be the “most successful year” in its history of offering credit union leasing. Among other things, more leasing inventory will be available this year on the most popular makes and models.

“This is an exciting development as more vehicles will not be supported by the manufacturers in 2018,” O’Hara observed. “Some of the most popular vehicles will be offered to members through CU Xpress Lease -- great news for the credit union.”