Ally Financial continues to see the U.S. auto market as quite healthy overall, even as some lenders pull back and more consumers fall behind on their car payments.
Executives at the Detroit-based auto lender said Wednesday that they are well aware of the tougher environment, which has led Ally to offer fewer loans to riskier customers and more to super-prime borrowers whose likelihood to repay is much higher.
Some credit unions and banks have retreated from the sector, but Ally CEO Jeffrey Brown said that void leaves opportunities for Ally and other lenders that have maintained a large presence in auto lending, including JPMorgan Chase and Capital One Financial.
Auto lending remains a “really attractive market for us,” Brown said on the company’s second-quarter earnings call. The company made some $10.4 billion in auto loans during the second quarter, up from $9.5 billion in the first quarter. Executives said that it did so while being pickier in the loans it selected and charging higher interest rates to compensate for greater risks.
“For people that are in and committed like Chase, like Cap One, like ourselves, it’s still a very attractive market opportunity at very aggressive returns right now,” Brown said. “So we recognize credit may be a little bumpier than expected, but the [returns] that we’re putting on are pretty much at lifetime highs for the company.”
Below are five takeaways from the company’s earnings call.