News & Resources

Auto industry reeling, alternative finance grows

Dec 07, 2012 Philip Burgess

The automotive industry in the United States was among the hardest hit by the financial downturn, with manufacturers feeling the sting of decreased consumer spending more so many than other groups. However, this year seems to have been marked by measured increases in sales for both new and used cars, boding well for the nation's auto industry. Auto industry finance has also shifted substantially, as dealers increasingly turn to the "buy it here, finance it here" mentality that is characterized by internal financing offerings. Several manufacturers have posted better gains than seen since before the recession in recent months, and many consumers are looking to make automotive purchases. Good news in Michigan
The Columbus Dispatch recently reported that Ford and Chrysler officials believe that automotive industry deals increased faster than any other period the last in four years this past September. According to the news provider, Ford sold 15 million units so far this year, while Chrysler is on pace to hit 14.9 million sales. Both will represent the best performances since before the recession and Detroit bailout. The source added that Toyota's sales have increased by 42 percent so far this year, which is higher than the initial projections of 36 percent growth from the company's analysts. Additionally, Honda saw its sales grow 31 percent in September, which is 5 percent higher than estimates of officials in the company's executive base. This is good news for the manufacturers who were ravaged by the one-two punch of a global economic downturn a few years ago and the tsunami that hit Japan not long after. The Dispatch added that incentives from the federal government for consumers who purchase cars will likely continue this trend going into the final days of the year. Alternative financial services in auto sales
As a result of the fiscal crisis a few years ago, auto industry financing has changed substantially, with many consumers using alternative services instead of traditional bank loans. Several segments of the sector saw marked gains throughout the past three years, while the trends show no signs of slowing. If anything, short term and title loans, along with other financing used to purchase automobiles and other products, seem to be gaining steam this year. New and used car sellers should consider offering alternative financing to consumers to ensure the highest revenues going into 2013 and beyond.