In the first nine months of 2010, Ally was the nation's first-ranked lender in new-vehicle loans and the third-largest lender overall, behind Toyota Financial Services and Chase Auto Finance.
Ally's likely to make more gains in the final quarter of this year if it makes good on its stated goals to buy more nonprime paper and increase its used-vehicle loan volume.
The old GMAC was the longtime leader until the credit crisis in 2008, when Toyota Financial Services bumped it out of the top spot. GMAC's struggles continued in 2009, and it sank to fifth place in the overall AutoCount rankings.
The latest data -- though not for the full year -- suggest GMAC, reborn as Ally, has a crack at leading the pack again. Although it can't touch Toyota Financial's strong credit rating, Ally's debt ratings have improved, and so has its cost of funds.
If it can launch a successful IPO within a year -- as its former parent just did -- its debt ratings could climb. That'll reduce its cost of funds further, allowing Ally to take back market share.