IRVING, Texas — Exeter Finance Corp., subprime auto contract purchaser, reported that it continues to make progress on its expansion plan.

On Monday, the company announced the opening of its sixth branch office, with the latest located in Manchester, N.H.

According to officials, this marks the halfway point of the company's expansion plan

Basically, Exeter is on track to open an additional six branches in major U.S. markets by the end of December, executives pointed out.

The plan is anchored by a business model centered on local relationships with auto dealers, local underwriting and local funding, the company highlighted. 

"Before we made our first loan two years ago, we saw that the industry needed a service-oriented approach to auto lending," explained Richard Frunzi, chief operating officer of Exeter.

"Our underwriting and verification teams work in branches near their dealers — not thousands of miles away in a centralized facility. As a result, dealers enjoy face-to-face service from people they already know and trust, and we receive a warm welcome wherever we open a branch," he continued.

Officials noted that the company also provides convenient, friendly service to its consumers. In addition to easy access to live representatives, Exeter offers online services such as real-time account information and free Web-pay options.

Exeter's loan program is centered around the need for basic transportation and reasonable loan amounts.

Frunzi added, "With higher gas prices and concerns about inflation, we make certain that we finance cars our customers can afford."

Sam Ellis, president of Exeter, gives much of the expansion credit to the company's staff.  

Ellis said, "We employ an unbelievably impressive team that believes in our mission as much as our management team does. Every member of our staff could work anywhere in this industry, but they chose Exeter. Simply put, our dealers use Exeter because of our people."

Overall, the company's management appears unworried about the uncertainty of the U.S. economy.

"I believe we started this business at just the right time," Ellis indicated. "We consistently price our loans proportional to their risk, which takes economic conditions into consideration. So we look forward to solid returns in the future."

In January, Navigation Capital Partners, an Atlanta private-equity firm, invested $20 million in Exeter. Navigation plans to invest up to an additional $40 million of equity into the auto lender to support its portfolio growth.

Also in January, the company welcomed auto finance veteran Ed Esstman to its board of directors. Esstman's 40-plus years of industry experience include 12 years at AmeriCredit, where he was most recently vice chairman.

Exeter currently operates branches in Irving, Texas (which also serves Denver, Colo.); Independence, Ohio (near Cleveland); Paramus, N.J.; Schaumburg, Ill. (near Chicago); St. Louis, Mo; and now Manchester, N.H.

For more information on the company, visit