Lenders' competition favors dealers

Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News

Auto lending has gone from a one-buggy Main Street to a traffic-congested thoroughfare, with companies maneuvering for position.

Check out Experian Automotive's first-quarter rankings for auto lenders.

In new cars, the biggest lenders lost ground. The top 20 U.S. auto lenders accounted for 77.3 percent of all new-car loans in the first quarter, down from 80.4 percent the year before.

In used cars, it was the other way around. The top 20 used-car lenders hogged the road, making 38.7 percent of loans vs. 32.3 percent the year before.

While it lasts, the maneuvering works in favor of dealers. To paraphrase a popular ad slogan, when banks compete for your business, you win.

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