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MELVILLE, N.Y. – Members of credit unions throughout Long Island are accustomed to seeing the GrooveCar logo on the doors of area dealerships letting auto shoppers know they are an official GrooveCar dealer and that credit union financing is available to members through them. For a 10-day period this month, these same dealerships will be participating in a special auto sales event for members hosted by the Long Island automotive resource and buying service. GrooveCar President David Jacobson describes the event that will be held from Jan. 16-25 as “Long Island’s largest sales event ever.” The company has relations with 100 local dealerships, and all of them will be participating in the event. GrooveCar, founded in 2001, has held the sales events on a quarterly basis since 2003, and this one is its fifth. It has indirect lending relations with 11 of some of Long Island’s largest credit unions such as People’s Alliance FCU, Bethpage FCU, Nassau Educators FCU, and Suffolk FCU. For these credit unions’ indirect lending needs, Groovecar has “very strict” dealer management guidelines, explained Jacobson. For example, each dealer is required to have two designated representatives who work with credit union members who come in to shop for a vehicle. Those representatives are trained on credit unions’ financing options and the uniqueness of the credit union/member relationship. If one of the designated representatives leaves the dealership, then the dealership has to appoint and train someone new. From Sept.-Dec. 2003, Groovecar facilitated $30 million in indirect loans for these CUs. Based on previous sales events results, Jacobson estimates the company will get about $17 million in auto loan applications for credit unions during the January sales event. It also has relations with six other, smaller CUs such as Long Island Realtors FCU and Hospital Employees FCU, but GrooveCar doesn’t handle any auto loan documentation or processing for these CUs. To get the word out to members and potential members, GrooveCar teamed up with Barnstable Broadcasting’s WKJY 98.3 and Island 94.3 radio stations. The two stations will run over 320 commercials and promotions about the event starting Jan. 12. Members will also have the opportunity to win a 42-inch plasma television. -

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