But many well-financed lenders are vying for a piece of the action in a hot market. Auto-loan outstanding balances total about $840 billion. Vehicle sales are expected to increase to nearly 17 million units this year, and the vast majority of car consumers buy on the payment plan.
“There’s a ton of money to lend,” Russi says. “The year 2015 will be interesting. Winners and losers will emerge in this space.”
On Duckett’s right, Joy Falotico, a vice president at Ford Motor Credit, says, “The landscape will continue to be very competitive.”
More than 75% of auto loans are indirect, or arranged at dealerships. That means lenders have two sets of customers: car buyers themselves and dealers who can influence which lender to go with.