The sale was held at the credit union's Lathrup Village headquarters and showcased 200 vehicles priced at under $10,000. There were 87 vehicles sold at the event, which brought in just about over $1 million in loans for the credit union.
Typically, Michigan First President/CEO Michael Poulos said that they sell anywhere between 40 and 60 vehicles at this event.
"Having the cars under $10,000 was a new twist this year. We thought there was a segment of the marketplace looking for an economy vehicle," Poulos explained one of the reasons why he thought the event was so successful.
The fact that consumers are paying more attention to credit unions lately was another factor that, Poulos said, helped bring in people to the event. The majority of new members that came to the credit union had heard about the event through a local media story.
"With everything going on right now, credit unions bring credibility to the situation that people are looking for."
Out of the 200 vehicles, approximately 75% were domestic vehicles Poulos said. For consumers that purchased a vehicle and financed it with Michigan First, the credit union offered a $50 Visa gift card for those that got preapproved, the first oil change free and a two-month/3,000-mile warranty.
"We didn't do anything significant in terms of rate discounts. We just made the cars available," Poulos said.
Michigan First holds three car sales a year: one in the spring, one in the summer and one in the fall. For the sale in the fall, even during a good economy, the credit union usually sells between 25 and 50 cars.
The event is always held at the credit unions headquarters that has approximately 300 parking spaces. Being able to hold the event on-site is a big plus, Poulos said, because it brings people to the credit union and makes financing very easy with the credit union right there.
In feedback from the sale, consumers liked the price range of the cars. One complaint they received was that they needed more people on hand to handle setting up accounts for the new members. "That's a great problem to have though," Poulos said.