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Ally loses some, wins some

Donna Harris covers automotive retailing for Automotive News

Chrysler Group has teamed up with Chase Auto Finance to offer low promotional interest rates on new-vehicle finance contracts at Chrysler Group dealerships.

That's good news for dealers because they have another option they can offer customers.

But it's not so good for Ally Financial, which remains the preferred lender for all Chrysler brands. Ally, formerly GMAC, had an exclusive contract with General Motors to offer incentives on retail financing at GM stores. It has no such agreement with Chrysler.

Ally's exclusivity agreement with GM is not ironclad. It's being phased out, and it expires completely after 2013.

Ally's incentivized retail finance volume at U.S. Chrysler dealerships nosedived 63 percent year-over-year in the second quarter to $500 million from $1.3 billion. Its incentivized retail finance volume at U.S. GM stores was down 13 percent during the same period.

Still, the company saw substantial increases in vehicle leasing and used-vehicle financing. It also is diversifying its retail financing programs for dealerships selling other than GM and Chrysler brands.

Ally's second-quarter results show that overall, it increased its retail finance and lease business 19 percent in the U.S.

Yes, Ally has lost some business. But at least it has been able to offset the declines in factory finance promotions.

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