CU Direct Expands into Canada, Partners with Desjardins Group
CU Direct Corp. is expanding its reach into Canada with the launch of Auto Premier, a suite of products and technology to provide automotive Web strategies and services.
The Ontario, Calif.-based company said it has partnered with Desjardins Group, Canada’s largest cooperative, in developing the credit union’s new member auto research and buying website, eSpaceAuto.com. CUDL has launched Auto Premier in Montreal, Quebec.
Desjardins Group’s new website, which incorporates the technology and e-tools used in CUDL’s lending services solution, the CUDL AutoSMART website program, will help connect its members to its more than 2,200 auto dealer and merchant partners throughout Quebec to shop for and buy their next vehicle, according to CU Direct.
The new site and program will also provide Desjardins Group with a resource designed to enhance both member brand awareness and overall member satisfaction, and help drive member financing at the dealership, CU Direct said.
“(The) partnership between Desjardins and Auto Premier will allow automobile and durable goods dealers in Quebec and Ontario to market their inventory at large and benefit from Desjardins’ five million-member network,” said André Chatelain, vice-president and general manager of Desjardins Card Services.
Chatelain added “What’s more, the portal will allow consumers to locate the right vehicle for them and benefit from a complete, competitive financing solution to meet their needs, all in one place. We support them while they are weighing their options and simplify their purchase experience by making it enjoyable and stress-free.”
Introduced in 2005, CUDL’s AutoSMART program and vehicle shopping website has grown to include over 1,000 credit unions, their 34 million members and over 7,000 participating AutoSMART dealers across the U.S, according to CU Direct. In 2012, the website reached the more than 1 million vehicle milestone in dealer inventory, the company said.
“We are very excited to be bringing our web strategies and automotive solutions to the Canadian marketplace, and specifically to Desjardins Group,” said Jerry Neemann, president of Auto Premier and executive vice president of CUDL Automotive in the United States.
Desjardins Group, based in Levis, Quebec, said it now serves 5.2 million members throughout Canada, and has $200 billion in assets.