Clock is ticking on Chrysler's finance deal with Ally

Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News

It's no wonder talk is heating up about the possibility that the Chrysler Group may be shopping for a new partner to handle its captive finance functions: The clock is ticking.

According to SEC documents, the Chrysler Group has until April 20 to decide whether it wants to make a change in its current arrangement that makes Ally Financial its go-to source for retail financing.

The agreement between Chrysler and Ally runs through April 20, 2013. Either party can decide not to renew, but the agreement requires 12 months' prior notice.

Otherwise, the agreement calls for automatic one-year renewals. More competition for dealers' business should be good news for dealerships.