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General Motors to enhance financial wing

Feb 04, 2011 Brian Bradley

On the heels of exceeding its January sales targets, General Motors has detailed a plan to expand its financial sector, The Wall Street Journal reports. The car maker announced that GM Financial will begin lending to Canadian consumers, while considering whether or not to begin lending to auto dealers. "The expansion into the Canadian market was simply a move to increase sales by providing credit to a bigger consumer base," GM Treasurer Dan Ammann told the paper. GM Financial hopes to reach its goals through increased lending to consumers with lower credit scores. That new practice may have contributed to GM's rapid sales expansion in January. During the month, GM saw its sales increase by 22 percent over the previous month, moving 178,896 vehicles off lots nationwide, Bloomberg reports. GM lending had gone through Ally, which served as GM's financial wing until 2006 but is now under 74 percent control of the U.S. Treasury following a 2008 bailout. Since then, GM Financial and Ally have endured a contested relationship. Currently, approximately 80 percent of GM dealers receive their financing through Ally, the WSJ details.