JIM HENRY

Caught napping? Not this industry

Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News

Twenty-year napper Rip Van Winkle wouldn't have had to doze even three years to be amazed at all the changes in auto financing. A few numbers I've run into recently illustrate how much the landscape continues to change, and not just since 2008.

For example, GM Financial, the former AmeriCredit, reported that in the first half, new vehicles from GM accounted for 38 percent of its originations. One year earlier, as AmeriCredit, that number was only 12 percent.

Meanwhile, TD Auto Finance, the former Chrysler Financial, is reviving. TD Auto Finance has signed up 6,800 dealers since it was launched earlier this year.

And GSFS Group, which shortened its name from Gulf States Financial Services, is approaching half of new business coming from non-Toyota dealers outside its home territory. "It's a very, very rapidly growing part of our company," says Steve Amos, president of GSFS Group.

As big as the changes have been since 2008 -- for example, captive finance company GMAC Financial Services being reborn as a bank, Ally Financial -- the changes didn't stop there. In some ways, that was just a start.

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