Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' intention to launch its own U.S. captive finance arm could throw another lender's business into upheaval. Santander Consumer USA, the bank that has backed a large chunk of FCA's auto loans since 2013, risks losing the bulk of its Chrysler portfolio.
After operating without a captive for nearly a decade, FCA will launch its own captive, either by acquisition or by building a finance company from the ground up, CEO Sergio Marchionne told investors last week in Balocco, Italy.
Marchionne placed the decision firmly at Santander's door.
"If we had had proper service in this market, then we would not have had these issues that we have today," Marchionne said.
Santander has fallen short of FCA market share targets that it agreed upon as part of a 2013 financing deal. The lender financed 28 percent of FCA's loan and lease originations in the first quarter, broadly missing the 65 percent mark it aimed to reach by the end of April, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.