EXCLUSIVE: Inside J.D. Power’s RV Dealership Outreach

A picture of two people in suits shaking hands as they are standing up from a conference table

In November, J.D. Power, a data analytics and consumer intelligence provider, opened access to RV dealers in the J.D Power Darwin Automotive finance and insurance (F&I) menu. The platform previously was available only to U.S. auto retailers.

Jeff Stafford, chief marketing officer for Darwin Automotive, said the move to open the portal was in part because of the rapid growth and excitement surrounding the RV, marine and powersports industries. J.D. Power launched into these spaces when it opened the Darwin Automotive F&I menu to marine dealers in May 2021.

The J.D Power Darwin Automotive F&I menu, used by more than 8,000 auto retailers across the country, is a patented F&I selling solution. The platform uses instant remote connection technology and enables F&I professionals to control their presentations flexibly. Presentations can be performed on paper, tablet, phone, a secondary monitor or to remote customers.

Stafford said certain technical nuances needed to be addressed before the technology was translatable into the RV industry, noting some differences in VINs and other finer points of RV sales. Once those areas were addressed, the portal could be accurately used by RV dealers. The menu was opened to RV dealers in conjunction with the RVDA 2021 Convention/Expo in Las Vegas, where Stafford said response from attendees was “amazing.”

“The RV market is an underserved F&I area,” Stafford said. He said the Darwin Automotive portal offers RV dealers a chance to maximize profits through F&I revenue.

Stafford said the product enables dealers to conduct remote and virtual presentations, in addition to in-person presentations. The software provides consistency, profitability and streamlines operations for dealerships, while providing specific legal compliance guidance.

“We have seen globally more consistent, streamlined processes with this new technology,” Stafford said.

“Customizing their F&I sales system for RV dealers is a positive step for J.D. Power,” said J.D. Baker, vice president of sales at Protective Asset Protection. “Having worked with the Darwin Automotive team for many years before its acquisition by J.D. Power, I know firsthand what they are capable of doing. Their prospect for growth in RV/marine/motorsports is even greater now.”

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