Credit unions in CU Direct's lending network have climbed to the top ranking in U.S. auto loan originations in the first half of the year, passing such large lenders as Capital One, Ally, Wells Fargo and automakers' captive finance arms.
The 1,100 credit unions in CU Direct's network originated 567,917 auto loans through June, an 18.2 percent rise from the year-earlier period, according to CU Direct and AutoCount. About 14,000 dealerships nationwide are on the CU Direct lending platform, a CU Direct spokesman said.
Capital One originated the second-highest number of loans: 565,999, up 20.2 percent from the year-earlier period. The figures tally loans only, and exclude leases.
In June 2016, CU Direct credit unions were fourth in the national ranking, and Wells Fargo, which now holds the fourth spot, was No.1. By the end of 2016, CU Direct became the No. 2 auto lender.
Ally, Wells Fargo and Toyota Financial Services completed the top five through June. Half of the top 10 lenders increased originations in the first half of the year: CU Direct credit unions, Capital One, Toyota Financial Services, American Honda Finance and Bank of America.
Ally, Wells Fargo, Chase, Ford Motor Credit and Nissan Infiniti Financial Services decreased originations, led by a 35 percent drop at Wells Fargo. Total industrywide loan originations fell 4.4 percent.