Captive finance companies and banks have won back some of the auto finance market share they lost to credit unions in 2009.
That's partly because captives, including Toyota Motor Credit Corp., are more active in incentives, and partly because big auto lenders such as GMAC Financial Services are rebounding from recent market-share lows.
Credit unions are still ahead of where they were two years ago, and analysts said that in the long run credit unions would continue to be a greater presence in auto lending than they were before the 2008-2009 credit crisis.
"Through the last year we saw a lot more credit union participation," said Mark O'Neil, chairman and CEO of DealerTrack Inc. in Lake Success, N.Y.
O'Neil said in a recent interview that credit unions account for roughly 60 percent of the 850 lenders DealerTrack has signed up for its network. "They continue to come on in large numbers," he said. DealerTrack also has about 17,000 U.S. dealers signed up for its credit application network and other online tools.