Editor's note: An earlier version of this report incorrectly stated which entity had $4 billion worth of Ally's total lease originations. It has been corrected.
General Motors has notified Ally Financial that it will steer all of its lease subsidies for the Chevrolet brand to captive finance company GM Financial, instead of sharing them among Ally, GM Financial, and to a lesser extent, U.S. Bank.
The change will take effect April 1.
Ally said Chevrolet subvented lease originations accounted for about $4 billion out of Ally’s total of $9.3 billion of the automaker’s lease originations in 2014. Ally’s total originations for all of 2014 were $41 billion, Ally said.
In January, the automaker announced that GM Financial, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, would become its exclusive preferred lender for leases for the Buick-GMC and Cadillac brands, effective February and March 2015, respectively. At the time, GM said the move is intended to drive customer loyalty. “We believe our strategy to leverage [GM Financial] will enable us to deliver significant benefits to you, your customers, and GM,” the automaker said in letters to dealers.
“Buick, GMC, Cadillac, and Chevrolet leases combined accounted for approximately 23 percent of Ally’s total originations during 2014,” Ally said. “If we are unable to successfully offset these declines in our business, these actions could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations over time.”
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GM is moving to address a competitive weakness that has hindered the automaker since its separation from former captive-finance arm GMAC, which later became Ally. Keeping the vast majority of its leases in-house will give GM more control of its customer data and a better shot at keeping its off-lease customers.
In a research note last year, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said that GM dealers “remain at a material disadvantage with the likes of Ford, Toyota and VW” because of GM’s lack of a strong captive-finance arm. He estimated that GM’s lack of a “mature” captive finance company costs GM about 2 percentage points of U.S. market share. GM’s market share in 2014 was 17.8 percent, easing from 17.9 percent in 2013.