A new and much bigger GM Financial is emerging this year -- a global, mostly prime-risk auto lender that looks a lot like the old GMAC captive finance company.
In a mirror image of sorts, a new Ally Financial is emerging this year, too. The new Ally is smaller and its auto finance and insurance operation is now limited to the United States. It also has a strong online consumer banking business.
In many ways, the two financial institutions have traded places. GM Financial, a one-time niche player in auto finance, has evolved into a globe-circling behemoth. Ally Financial, which as GMAC was once so large that the U.S. government felt compelled to rescue it rather than let it fail, today is a much smaller operation focused on a smaller number of core businesses.
GM Financial used to be known as AmeriCredit Corp. At the time, it was a publicly traded independent auto-finance company that specialized in the subprime market.
Then, in 2010, GM acquired AmeriCredit, setting it on a transformational path toward becoming GM's worldwide captive finance company.
The biggest changes are only now taking effect.
"In 2013 we were able to double the size of our company," Dan Berce, CEO of GM Financial, of Fort Worth, Texas, said in a conference call for investors and analysts.
Berce said the increase was the result of GM Financial acquiring most of Ally Financial's former International Operations in Europe and Latin America, plus growth in U.S. retail leases and commercial loans.