AutoNation prefers acquisition to create captive finance company

AutoNation CEO Mike Manley claims the public retailer would relatively generate a captive finance firm out of an institution it acquires.

“If there is the appropriate target in the market, that would be by considerably my most well-liked route to do it,” Manley said throughout an April 21 earnings contact.

But he explained that while “interesting” chances existed, AutoNation wouldn’t rush a determination.

“You will completely hear a lot more on this subject as the yr develops,” he claimed.

Manley described his views as “definitely solidified” with regards to launching a captive, a topic he experienced stated in the previous earnings phone in February.

“I perspective it as an critical piece of the business enterprise for us heading ahead for our AutoNation United states of america shops,” he claimed.

Manley, the former Stellantis Americas head, said AutoNation’s franchised dealerships had “vitally important” interactions with automakers. But he said the rising made use of auto-only AutoNation United states essential the versatility of an inside captive finance enterprise.

These a captive wouldn’t check out to absorb the whole ebook of made use of small business alone, Manley reported.

AutoNation would proceed to work with creditors who supported its prior advancement, Manley stated.

“I assume that to take place going forward,” he mentioned.

For now, Lithia Motors is the only a single of the 6 significant public dealership groups to very own a captive — Driveway Finance Corp.

Lithia on April 20 claimed Driveway Finance turned its No. 1 lender through the 1st quarter, with a 6.2 % penetration amount, and it anticipated to report a penetration in the mid-7 % assortment for the year.

Lithia also projected the captive would for the entire calendar year have a $1.7 billion loan portfolio and serve a combine of about 70 % applied cars and 30 p.c new vehicles.