Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co., gaining ground over Japanese automakers with their most stylish sedans and small cars since the 1970s, are topping Toyota Motor Corp. in customer loyalty, researcher Experian Automotive said.
Three years ago, credit was so tight that the owner of a legal firm with a $400,000 salary and a very good credit score of more than 700 couldn’t get financed to buy the car he wanted from Michael Mosser’s dealership.
Alan Helfman, a car dealer in Houston, served a woman in his showroom last month with a credit score lower than 500 and a desire for a new Dodge Dart for her daily commute. She drove away with a new car.
Carfinco Financial Group Inc., the Canadian car lender trading close to a record high, plans to increase its U.S. loan portfolio by 20 percent next year by targeting high-risk borrowers who have filed for bankruptcy or missed credit payments.
Lenders are charging U.S. car buyers the lowest interest rates in at least four years as fewer borrowers fall behind on their payments, supporting demand for new vehicles, according to researcher Experian Automotive.
Chrysler Group LLC is in talks with banks about forming a joint-venture captive-finance arm similar to the one majority owner Fiat SpA has with Credit Agricole SA, according to two people familiar with the matter.