In August, Chrysler Group's U.S. sales rose 12 percent to 165,552 units. For the first eight months this year, sales reached 1.2 million units, up 10 percent from the year-earlier period. Industrywide sales rose 17 percent in August and 10 percent through August.
Gerry Quinn, Chrysler Group's head of financial services, said last week that Chrysler Capital helped boost the August numbers. "Chrysler Capital continues to focus on helping Chrysler dealers succeed while helping more consumers purchase or lease vehicles," he said.
Chrysler Capital, which launched in May, is a private-label arrangement between Chrysler Group and subprime specialist Santander Consumer USA Inc. Before that, Chrysler had a deal to route incentives through Ally Financial. That deal ended in April, although Ally continues to be a major source of financing for Chrysler brands.
Chrysler's former captive, Chrysler Financial, was purchased by TD Bank, of Toronto, in 2011 and renamed TD Auto Finance.
Dealer Doug Moreland says his only criticism of Chrysler Capital is that, because of its historical subprime specialty, it lacks experience with superprime customers, those with the highest credit scores. Still, he says, "In almost all of the different segments of lending, based on competitive rates, based on the structure of the deals, they are taking market share away from other lenders."
He adds: "It's kind of like being back to factory relations. The old Chrysler Financial would buy a deal, especially on a Chrysler product, where they might be taking a little more risk, but if they never took any risk they wouldn't have sold the vehicle. They kind of have that attitude now."