Toyota Financial's job gets tougher

Edward Lapham is executive editor of Automotive News
One of the lessons we're all learning this year is that we still need to find creative solutions.

Just because it feels as if the auto market is about ready to bounce off the bottom -- and there are signals that credit may be loosening a little -- doesn't mean we can let up.

But I worry what the heck Toyota Financial Services is going to do.

Toyota's captive financial arm has been the third largest subprime auto lender -- behind Wachovia Dealer Services and Capital One Auto Finance -- as part of Toyota's campaign to move more metal, especially downmarket to riskier consumers.

But with many consumers freaked out about unintended acceleration problems, it could make the whole process tougher.

Not to worry because the finance company has a plan: through the end of February, Toyota financial Services is lowering interest rates on loans to customers with credit scores of 650 or greater.


I guess the, uh, subprime customers will need to fend for themselves.