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“DriveTime hates the status quo. And that is the sort of mentality we seek in our clients, companies that are constantly evolving, perpetually seeking new ways to better serve customers and grow people. That sort of innovation has been critical to DriveTime’s success.”

David Gifford, Partner, Grant Thornton

Retooling the customer experience

The nation’s 2nd largest car retailer focused solely on used vehicle sales, Tempe, AZ based DriveTime Automotive Group, Inc. (DriveTime), is a customer-service, people focused business. Re-branded as DriveTime in 2002, the company has reimagined the traditional, plodding, often infuriating used car buying process to create an efficient and easy experience that helps customers quickly find and finance a used vehicle. DriveTime employs proprietary technology and analytics to offer customers personalized financing and vehicle options in 2 minutes.

DriveTime’s innovation infuses the company’s operations as it constantly seeks to evolve and better serve customers and employees. Emblematic of this rich, innovative culture, DriveTime encourages employees to create their own start-up businesses to better support customers, a unique approach that has resulted in the launch and subsequent spinoff of companies like Carvana (CVNA), GO Financial, and SilverRock group.

Cars for the people, by the people

Process and technological innovation are important at DriveTime, but nothing is more important than people, both customers and employees. DriveTime sees its people as its primary competitive advantage and seeks to take care of its own. That’s easier said than done in a rapidly growing, multi-billion dollar enterprise, so DriveTime holds fast to its core values and encourages its people to think big, but stay small.

To this end, there aren’t many doors in DriveTime’s facilities, literally and metaphorically. They symbolize barriers to the collaboration and personal growth so critical to the company’s success, so DriveTime removed them and operates in an open setting that reinforces its values. DriveTime’s people often cite their colleagues and management’s investment and encouragement in them as primary attribute of its culture.

Notable data

DriveTime loan portfolio
DriveTime 1.15 million vehicles sold since 2002
DriveTime 39K vehicles nationwide
DriveTime 144 dealerships in 27 states
DriveTime 5K+ employees
DriveTime 4 million approvals since 2002

A company on the move

DriveTime’s operational, financial, and employee growth has been dramatic in the last decade, a trajectory which continues today. The company is a regular on Inc. magazine’s list of fastest growing private companies and is the recipient of numerous accolades for its workplace culture and technology.
In keeping with its resolute focus on people, DriveTime is also a deeply committed corporate citizen. Among its many noteworthy charitable endeavors has been its consistent support of St. Vincent de Paul’s mission to help the working poor and homeless, and events focused on economically stressed families including the DT Cares Family 5K, which was comprised of up to 55 events for multiple years supporting financially disadvantaged customers and their families impacted by traumatic events.

“DriveTime is a people-first business, as is Grant Thornton. We seek to break through tradition in our industry, as does Grant Thornton in its. We appreciate being served by a firm that is not only very capable, but that also has a culture and value system in keeping with our own.”

Kurt Wood, Chief Financial Officer, DriveTime