Autoland Rolls With Economic Punches to Provide Unmatched Credit Union Auto-Buying Service

Autoland, Inc., the nation’s largest credit union auto-buying service, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and thanks to its shrewd handling of the recent economic downturn, it truly has reason to celebrate.

Since expanding from its California roots to serve the Pacific Northwest in 1998, Autoland has provided credit unions in the region with high-quality direct loans, giving credit unions the ability to give their members an efficient, affordable auto-buying experience. Autoland’s customizable suite of products includes in-house consultants, cutting-edge web tools, a new and pre-owned vehicle purchasing service, trade-ins, aftermarkets, marketing and staff promotions—all at no cost to credit unions.

Founded in 1971 with a goal simply of providing convenient, affordable auto-buying service, Autoland is now the leading provider of auto purchase and financing service to credit unions—and the company’s scope has been expanding gradually since day one.

After growing to include partnerships with hundreds of credit unions in its first decade, the Chatsworth, Calif.-based company expanded its services in 1984 by hosting the first in what proved to be a long line of one-day used car shows and sales. It then opened its first office in a credit union in 1990, and by the late ‘90s, Autoland had 50 offices and a significant online presence.

In 2007, Autoland took another huge step, becoming a credit union-owned cooperative. Its three owners, all based in California, are California Agribusiness Credit Union (Buena Park), Kinecta Federal Credit Union (Manhattan Beach), and Telesis Community Credit Union (Chatsworth).

“Our vision,” says Autoland’s website, is to be owned by the credit unions in the industry we have served since 1971. This is a great legacy.”

But few sectors have truly flourished in the past several years, and Michelle Samaad of the Credit Union Times recently explained an in-depth piece how Autoland has continued to grow even in the past 18 months thanks to President Jeffry Martin’s flexibility and leadership in an economic climate that was hardly friendly to growth.

“We took a look at the landscape to see how we could better serve the credit union movement,” Martin told the Credit Union Times. “We needed to do it naturally. Let’s stick to our core competency. We’re about loans, not cars.”

Under Martin’s leadership, Autoland has produced a best practices document, and its essential strategies—all specifically designed with credit unions in mind—have helped to grow Autoland’s business by helping credit unions improve their service to members. The company also implemented a direct loan delivery channel, helping to push credit unions into a greater share of the used-car market.

Of course, none of this growth has come at the expense of Autoland’s commitment to the credit union motto of “people helping people,” as they have also displayed an ever-growing commitment to giving back. In early 2011, for instance, Autoland donated a significant share of the profits from every auto sale to victims of the March tsunami and earthquake in Japan.

If you or your credit union would like to partner with the Autoland, corporate information and partnership opportunities are available here.

 

Questions? Contact Sales & Marketing Associate Craig Reed: 206.340.4789, creed@nwcua.org.

Posted in Compliance, Economy.