Auto lending giants Chase and Wells Fargo reaped the benefits of record U.S. auto sales last year, especially during the fourth quarter, when both recorded double-digit origination growth.
Chase Auto Finance’s auto loan and lease originations in the quarter soared 33 percent to $9.2 billion, while loans and leases outstanding reached $60.3 billion, up 10 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2014.
“2015 set a record for new-car sales, with strength in the fourth quarter continuing through December,” J.P. Morgan Chase CFO Marianne Lake said during a conference call last week.
Auto sales increased during each month of the final quarter: 13.6 percent in October, 1.2 percent in November and 8.9 percent in December, according to the Automotive News Data Center. For the full year, vehicle sales reached an all-time high of 17.5 million, a 5.7 percent rise from 2014.
Chase Auto Finance provides private-label loans and leases to Subaru, Mazda, Jaguar and Land Rover.
“We gained nearly 40 basis points of share year over year, with the strength of our manufacturing partnerships driving growth,” Lake said.
In an interview with Automotive News last year, Chase Auto Finance CEO Thasunda Brown Duckett said the lender would continue to grow, but growth would be “prudent” and “disciplined.”
In 2015 Chase’s auto loan and lease originations grew 18 percent while in 2014, originations grew only 5 percent year over year.
At Wells Fargo, loan originations grew 13 percent to $7.6 billion in the fourth quarter. For the full year, they inched up 4 percent to $31.1 billion, a modest growth compared with last year’s 8 percent rise.
Wells Fargo’s total auto loans outstanding grew 8 percent to $60 billion.