Used Car Week Recap: Valuable Conversations on Industry Challenges

DRN and MVTRAC were happy to be part of Used Car Week (UCW) by Cherokee Media Group in November. From moderating sessions, facilitating breakouts and hosting special events, we had a productive four days in Las Vegas.

UCW continues to be the premiere gathering of leaders from across the used car industry – including lenders, forwarders and vendors. This year we saw more repossession agents attend than in past years, which created a great opportunity for positive interaction and honest conversations among various parts of our industry who may not typically find themselves in the same setting.

As part of UCW, DRN and MVTRAC President Jeremiah Wheeler joined Nick Zulovich of Cherokee Media Group to record an episode of the Auto Remarketing Podcast. Jeremiah and Nick discussed trends shown by our latest data, including how consumers continue to be highly transient following the height of the pandemic. They also discussed how license plate data is being used more and more to help find vehicles connected with automaker recalls. To cap off the discussion, he shared his most concerning issue, the ability to keep our agent community whole and in business until volumes come back to normal.  Click here to listen to the full podcast. 

DRN, MVTRAC, and Allied partnered hosted a Peer-to-Peer Breakfast, which proved to be a great time for lenders to interact and have valuable conversations about everything from fee structures to staffing challenges. Providing this informal, smaller-group experience allowed for productive one-on-one interaction. We discussed current challenges facing the industry, including:

  •       Flat delinquency and repossession volumes for the next 12 months
  •       High used car values through 2022 and into 2023
  •       High transport and fuel fees creating strain on agents
  •       Increased direct digital purchases of vehicles, along with car sales to dealers
  •       Growing complexity in compliance requirements
  •       Anticipated effects from changes to federal laws governing debt collection

All of these challenges – along with continued uncertainty over the state of pandemic recovery – have led to repossession agents declining assignments for other, more profitable assignments. DRN and MVTRAC already have seen nearly 20% of our affiliated repossession shops shut their doors due to these issues.

However, the discussions weren’t all negative. We also had great conversations about the importance of building a strong culture within the industry and at individual businesses. Leaders talked about focusing on employees’ mental health and evolving back-to-work models in a way that balances individual needs with business performance.

Another positive highlight of UCW was our Women Who Rock party, which honored women leaders in auto finance. We hosted more than 100 guests and this diverse crowd had a great time celebrating this group of leaders. We would like to thank our sponsors, Loss Prevention Services, American Recovery Service, RDN, MVTRAC, and DCM Services for throwing a party that rocked.

Whether in the conference sessions, our special events or in sidebar conversations, we heard a common theme: the industry continues to feel effects of the pandemic and is anxious for delinquency volumes to return to “normal,” pre-crisis levels. We heard predicted timing ranging from 2022 to 2024.

While the industry is still recovering and facing uncertainty, it was positive to see this group come together to collaborate and learn from each other. Whether lenders, forwarders or affiliates, all are dealing with similar challenges, and this opened the door for deeper, more honest conversations. 

Thanks to everyone who helped make this year’s UCW one of the best yet!

About the author:

Stephen, Senior Vice President of Business Development and Client Services, leads all sales and client services activities for DRN’s FinTech business. With more than 18 years of experience in business development and client services, he works with lenders to improve their collections and recovery strategies by optimizing DRN’s vehicle location data to fit each client’s needs and impact revenue goals.

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