Chrysler has announced that its preferred partnership with Ally Financial will be allowed to expire on April 30, 2013. The melting away of this special partnership offering incentivized auto loans could be a sign that Chrysler is looking to create its own in-house lending unit.
Ally Financial has been the main provider of financing for the automaker since June 2009 when it emerged from bankruptcy. In 2011, the lender provided funding to two-thirds of Chrysler’s dealers and nearly one-third of its customers.
Being worth northwards of $25 million a year, the Chrysler auto-loan market will be highly coveted. In fact, starting just two months ago, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne began talking with large lenders including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Santander Consumer USA, Wells Fargo, General Electric Capital Corp., and U.S. Bancorp. Observers of the automotive financial industry believe that the American automaker is exploring two options, a private-label lending set up or a captive-type joint venture. Either way, most of the loans funded will probably be for prime buyers, not those needing second chance auto financing.