Credit unions on CU Direct's auto lending network as a group have become the second-largest auto-loan financing source this year through September, knocking Ally Financial to the No. 3 spot, CU Direct said.
Wells Fargo Dealer Services is No. 1. For all of 2015, Ally had been on top.
Together, the more than 1,000 credit unions using CU Direct's CUDL lending platform have been the third-largest financing source in the U.S. for the past two years. The platform connects credit unions to more than 13,000 dealerships.
CU Direct CEO Tony Boutelle told Automotive News: "I think you're going to see credit unions continue to be aggressive going into 2017."
Through September, CU Direct credit unions originated 825,712 loans, up 15 percent, while Ally's originations dipped 11 percent to 814,691, CU Direct's data, which excludes leases but includes both new and used vehicles, show. Wells Fargo's originations rose 3.6 percent to 897,578.
Credit unions account for 22 percent of auto-finance market share, behind only banks' 37.5 percent, according to Experian.