Atlantic Auto Finance Corp., the tiny but growing captive finance company for United Auto Group, has recruited a heavyweight - the former president of Chase Manhattan Auto Finance Corp. - as its new chairman and CEO.
James Brew, 50, joined United Auto in the newly created position last month. Brew is responsible for day-to-day operations and for strategic direction. He reports to Chairman Marshall Cogan.
Brew's successor at Chase, Norman Buchan, was appointed July 10. Buchan, 49, has been with the bank 26 years. Earlier assignments included Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Indonesia.
Chase Auto, based in Garden City, Long Island, is the largest bank lender for new-vehicle loans and leases in the country. It had $11 billion in originations last year through a network of about 7,000 dealers nationwide.
In contrast, Atlantic Finance had only $84 million of loans outstanding as of March 31, according to Standard & Poor's. But, in an analysis, the debt rating agency took Brew's hiring as evidence that 'this business will be expanded aggressively.'
One of Brew's main tasks will be to try to boost business with dealers outside United Auto Group. Atlantic's goal is to do at least half of its business with nonaffiliated dealers. United dealers account for about 70 percent of the captive's business, Standard & Poor's said.