Bloomberg News

GM Chooses Wells Fargo to Finance Auto Sales in Western U.S.

March 01, 2012

General Motors Co. (GM) chose Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) to provide financing to Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealers and retail customers in GM’s U.S. West marketing region, including California.

The “long-term” arrangement will complement offerings through GM Financial, its relationship with Ally Financial Corp. and a leasing program with U.S. Bancorp, the Detroit-based automaker said today in a statement on its website.

“Our relationship with Wells Fargo further improves GM’s competitiveness by expanding the financing options we can offer to our dealers and customers,” Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, said in a statement.

The partnership could help GM in California, an important auto market, where San Francisco-based Wells Fargo has a large presence, said Jesse Toprak, an auto-industry analyst with TrueCar.com, a website that tracks auto sales and financing.

Wells Fargo has “an existing customer base of millions so they are probably expecting to tap into the existing customer base,” he said.

Tom Wolfe, head of Wells Fargo Consumer Credit Solutions, said the deal expands the bank’s “significant footprint in the West.”

“It will fuel growth in our auto-finance business, an area in which we are looking to expand,” he said in a statement.

Wells Fargo is among banks vying to oust Detroit-based Ally Financial Corp. as Chrysler Group LLC’s preferred auto lender, three people with knowledge of the bidding have said.

Ally remains GM’s biggest lending partner, financing 38 percent of the automaker’s consumer business and 78 percent of dealer inventory loans, Gina Proia, an Ally spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

“We are committed to the business for the long term and are pleased to have retail financing relationships with about 14,000 U.S. dealers and be part of the U.S. auto-industry recovery,” she said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Higgins in Southfield, Michigan at thiggins21@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net; David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net


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