DAYTON, Ohio-Dealers participating in the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association's Money Express credit card program recently received extended financing options that the NTDRA said will help them compete more effectively with discounters and national retailers. According to Bank One, Dayton NA, which administers the Money Express program, the new options enable participating dealers to offer customers six-month and 12-month same-as-cash terms on an easy and flexible basis.
The key element is that dealers can choose when and how they want to feature extended financing in their promotional mix, the bank said.
``The flexibility to offer extended financing at a moment's notice to compete effectively.*.*.*has become critical to (tire dealers') success and profitability,'' said Philip P. Friedlander Jr., executive vice president of the NTDRA.
``The marketing opportunities are almost limitless,'' said Thomas E. Winning, executive vice president of Bank One, Dayton. ``Under the new program, dealers can customize promotions to fit their specific marketing needs.
``They can use these promotions on a spot basis to close a difficult sale or to move a specific line or brand of merchandise. Or they can use (them) to focus on under-the-car service, or integrate six-month or 12-month same-as-cash offers in a storewide sale.''
To qualify a purchase for special extended terms, dealers need only press a few extra numbers on their Money Express terminals. Bank One will automatically process the transaction and bill the customer accordingly.
Bank One notified all Money Express dealers of the new program in December following a limited test this past fall. Their reaction, as reported by the bank, was generally positive.
``Based on our success this fall, these new financing options are going to be a great closing tool for those (customers) who are sitting on the fence,'' said Jim Reeves of Reeves Sales in Forrest City, Ark.
``I particularly like the idea of running these promotions at our discretion and that we can target specific merchandise or service,'' said Dave Garrison of Tackett Tire in Dayton. ``It gives us the control we need to meet market needs quickly.''
Randy Davis of Auto-Sav Tire Service in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., agreed that six- and 12-month same-as-cash promotions will help the dealership ``compete against the price-cutters in our markets. It should also attract a better, more creditworthy customer who is willing to pay a little more for quality tires and service.''
Bank One said the merchant discount fees for the extended financing options will be greater than the standard 1.85 percent, which will remain in effect on Money Express transactions for 90 days same as cash. For the six-month option, the discount will be 3.85 percent; 5.85 percent for the 12-month option.
The bank said it plans to have marketing support and materials available by March.