News & Resources

Auto finance sector continues to show signs of improvement

Nov 17, 2011 Randy Mosteller

The auto financing sector continues to show improvement, having weathered a devastating recession in manufacturing and continued trouble competing with foreign markets. Earlier this week, S&P Indices and Experian reported a hike in consumer loan default rates across all categories but auto financing. Auto giant Ford has also fared relatively well in its emergence from the downturn, and this month vowed to clean up its supply chain through a series of ethical and environmental sustainability initiatives. On Friday, credit rating firm Fitch upgraded the Issuer Default Ratings for Ford and its finance subsidiary to 'BB+' from 'BB'. "Looking ahead, Fitch expects slowly strengthening global automotive demand and Ford's competitive product portfolio to drive continued FCF strength," the firm reported. "This will support ongoing liquidity growth and provide additional opportunities to further de-lever the company's balance sheet, with a company goal of reducing balance sheet debt to $10 billion by 2015." The news comes as creditors nationwide have been tightening their policies in the face of widespread debt and excessive risk. Lenders have been pressured to improve their risk management strategies to rein in losses and reduce exposure to market uncertainty.