CAR PURCHASES EXPECTED TO SOAR IN 2015 SAYS HUNTINGTON BANK SURVEY

Economic Index projects 10 percent increase among Midwest car buyers

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Huntington Bank’s Third Annual Midwest Economic Index reveals 16 percent of consumers definitely will purchase a car in 2015. The response represents a 10 percent increase over definite intent for car purchases in 2014 and is a clear sign of optimism among consumers interviewed in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

“It’s still a great time to buy,” said Huntington Auto Finance Director Rich Porrello. “Consumers are benefitting from low interest rates, high trade-in values and a wide range of manufacturer incentives. Add to that enthusiasm for an outstanding 2015 model year, falling gas prices and the ongoing economic recovery, and we’ll continue to see strong buyer demand throughout the year.”

In comparison to consumers with definite plans to purchase a car in 2014, the Midwest Economic Index revealed increases of 13 percent in West Virginia, 12 percent in Western Pennsylvania, 11 percent in Indianapolis, 9 percent in Michigan and 8 percent in Ohio.

The automotive industry has now experienced five consecutive years of growth in the number of autos sold and is poised for a sixth in light of increased consumer optimism about the U.S. economy and given that the average vehicle on American roads continues to run more than 11 years old according to an IHS Automotive study based on Polk Co. registration data.

In line with this growth, Huntington experienced its fifth consecutive year of record loan production in 2014. With loans totaling $5.2 billion, Huntington financed more cars than any other time in its 60-year history serving the automotive industry. During the year, Huntington added hundreds of dealers to its network, which now totals more than 3,700 dealers in 17 states. Additionally, Huntington held to super-prime lending, serving dealers locally and delivering 70 percent of indirect loan decisions within three seconds or less.

This year Huntington is joining Midwest consumers for a look at the latest vehicle models and automotive technologies as an official sponsor of the following auto shows:

• West Virginia International Auto Show, Jan 16 - 18, at the Charleston Civic Center

• Toledo Auto Show, Feb. 5 - 8, at the Seagate Convention Centre

• Pittsburgh International Auto Show, Feb 13 - 16, at the David Lawrence Convention Center

• Cleveland Auto Show, March 7 - 15, at the IX Center

• Columbus International Auto Show, March 19 - 22, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center

Ebiquity conducted the Midwest Economic Index survey over the last weeks of October 2014 as a random sample of consumers in western and eastern Michigan, northern, central and southern Ohio, Indianapolis, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, with statistically relevant responses available for each region. The survey points to rising consumer optimism with intent to increase spending on key items including cars, vacations and home improvements in 2015.

Methodology

The third Huntington Bank Survey conducted by Ebiquity between October 20-30, 2014 among 2,107 adults within their surrounding community, representing five Midwestern regions – Ohio, Michigan, Western Pennsylvania, Indianapolis and West Virginia. These findings have a margin of error +/-2.1 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

About Huntington

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated is a $66 billion asset regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. The Huntington National Bank, founded in 1866, and its affiliates provide full-service commercial, small business, and consumer banking services; mortgage banking services; treasury management and foreign exchange services; equipment leasing; wealth and investment management services; trust services; brokerage services; customized insurance brokerage and service programs; and other financial products and services. The principal markets for these services are Huntington’s six-state retail banking franchise: Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky. The primary distribution channels include a banking network of more than 700 traditional branches and convenience branches located in grocery stores and retirement centers, and through an array of alternative distribution channels including internet and mobile banking, telephone banking, and more than 1,500 ATMs. Through automotive dealership relationships within its six-state retail banking franchise area and selected other Midwest and Northeast states, Huntington also provides commercial banking services to the automotive dealers and retail automobile financing for dealer customers.

About Ebiquity

Ebiquity are independent marketing performance specialists. Ebiquity enables brands across the world to make better informed decisions to improve their brand and business performance across integrated communications channels.

Member FDIC.® and Huntington® are federally registered service marks of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated.

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