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IWSJI item on GMAC notes CUs market gain
NEW YORK (9/25/09)--A Wall Street Journal article about General Motors Co.'s (GM) former captive finance company, GMAC, notes that credit unions have gained a significant share of the auto loan financing market. Melinda Zabritski, a director with Experian Information Solutions, told the publication that a year ago, credit unions had less than 20% of the auto finance market. Now, "thanks to financial flexibility and a relative lack of exposure to mortgage risk--credit unions have stormed past 30%," she said (The Wall Street Journal Sept. 24). The article was about GMAC using its new access to low-cost capital and the rising prominence of its Ally bank to compete more directly with banks such as Wachovia Corp. and J.P. Morgan Chase. GMAC turned itself into a bank holding company after it the federal government rescued and separated it from GM. GMAC plans to begin offering new auto-related financial programs to card dealers called the Ally Dealer Rewards program, GMAC President Bill Muir told the Journal, to help blunt the gains major banks have made into auto financing. This year Chase and Wachovia became the top providers of loans for new and used vehicles, according to Experian. Chase has 6.7% of the auto loan market, and Wachovia has 4% share, while GMAC has 3% market share. Muir said GMAC is shifting from a culture of relying heavily on making GM happy to a culture that is aggressively looking to steal market share from banks, credit unions and captive lenders of other auto makers.
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