Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. said today it will join AutoFi's online vehicle sales and financing platform and that a unit of the bank's parent will take an undisclosed equity stake in the digital lending platform based in San Francisco.
Santander InnoVentures, the financial technology venture capital arm of Banco Santander, "is investing in AutoFi because customers want the same digital e-commerce experience when buying a car as they do in other areas," a Santander Consumer USA spokesperson told Automotive News. "AutoFi connects car manufacturers, dealers and car-selling platforms and can adapt to customer needs. We believe it's an industry-changing business that will shape the future of the auto finance industry."
Santander Consumer USA expects to begin offering financing options via the AutoFi platform in the second quarter, the spokesperson said.
Rich Morrin, Santander Consumer USA's president of Chrysler Capital and auto relationships, said in a statement: "Our customers get a faster, easier and more personal car-buying experience, and the technology facilitates a more streamlined process for our dealers. Santander Consumer USA's digital strategy has always been about connecting consumers to cars they love and want to drive, with payments they can afford. AutoFi's platform, along with SC's digital platform Roadloans.com, helps us do just that."
AutoFi CEO Kevin Singerman said in the statement: "Working with Santander will help expand the digital market for dealerships, making it easier for a wider array of consumers to secure online financing."
Santander's partnership with AutoFi comes on the heels of an announcement this month that Chase Auto Finance will join AutoFi's platform sometime in the first half of this year. Chase is the first national bank to form an alliance with AutoFi, the two companies said.
Ford Motor Credit Co. announced a partnership with AutoFi and an undisclosed investment in the company in January 2017.