Wells Fargo, Chase boost auto lending

Wells Fargo expects to keep its position as the No. 1 U.S. auto lender by volume as auto lenders report third-quarter results, CFO John Shrewsberry said Tuesday during a conference call reporting the company’s quarterly results.

Wells Fargo said its consumer auto loan originations were $7.6 billion in the third quarter, up 9 percent from the year-earlier period. Indirect auto loans outstanding -- that is, loans negotiated at dealerships -- were $52.2 billion, up 10.6 percent.

Chase Auto Finance said separately on Tuesday its consumer originations were $6.8 billion in the third quarter, up about 6 percent from a year ago.

“We’ve seen the 12th consecutive quarter of loan and lease growth despite a very competitive market,” Marianna Lake, CFO for JPMorgan Chase & Co., said during the company’s conference call.

While Chase’s originations rose, the increase was below the rise in U.S. light-vehicle sales in the third quarter. Sales were up 7.9 percent in the third quarter to about 4.3 million units, Automotive News Data Center numbers show.

Wells Fargo was No. 1 in new and used auto loans combined in the second quarter, according to Experian Automotive. That was the fifth quarter in a row Wells Fargo was No. 1, starting when Wells Fargo overtook former top lender Ally Financial in the second quarter of 2013.

Wells Fargo Dealer Services is the perennial No. 1 in used-car loans. But it has also added share in new-vehicle financing, partly because General Motors uses Wells Fargo as a preferred lender for incentivized loans. The bank’s GM relationship began on a regional basis in 2011. Since September 2013, the partnership has included the entire country.

You can reach Jim Henry at autonews@crain.com

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