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Bank Purchase of Chrysler Financial Could Boost U.S. Auto Sales

Jan 10, 2011

With Toronto-Dominion Bank’s (TD Bank’s) $6.3 billion purchase of Chrysler Financial, industry analysts say that new avenues of financing may be open for U.S. dealers and could help boost auto sales here in the next year or two. Chrysler Financial has $7.5 billion in loans and leases outstanding and relationships with about 2,000 U.S. auto dealers. The purchase makes TD Bank one of North America’s largest auto lenders and is expected to bolster competition to provide loans for vehicle purchases and leases, as well as floorplan financing. According to media reports, quoting data from Experian Automotive, in 2006, Chrysler Financial, then owned by the automaker, commanded 5.8% of the auto finance market. Just four years later, when it was operating as a unit of private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, its market share was just 0.1%. Analysts say that TD Bank’s big plunge into auto financing indicates an improved view of the auto sector as an investment opportunity. The general feeling is that this acquisition is very good for the auto industry. The continued recovery of the sector will depend on access to credit, for both dealers and consumers.