FCA wants its own captive, reviews Chrysler Capital options

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According to confirmation from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Friday, how FCA dealers can finance inventory and their retail sales is going to change.

The automaker announced it intends to establish a captive financial services arm to provide U.S. consumers with more options to finance vehicle purchases while supporting the company’s sales volumes and bolstering its earnings.  

The currently does not have a captive finance company within its portfolio, even though Chrysler Capital exists. Established more than five years ago, Chrysler Capital is part of Santander Consumer USA.

More than 2.1 million new cars and trucks were sold by FCA in the U.S. last year. FCA said it currently is the only major automaker in the U.S. without a captive financing arm.

“Given our strong financial performance and improving credit profile, we believe the time is right to pursue a U.S. Finco strategy,” FCA chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne said. 

“FCA will have adequate capital to fund the equity needed and expects to have the credit rating to make the Finco funding competitive,” Marchionne continued

Chrysler Capital , along with a variety of other providers including Ally Financial, currently underwrites consumer financing for most FCA vehicle purchases in the U.S.

FCA said is exploring whether to acquire an existing financial services business, which could include exercising an option to acquire Chrysler Capital, or to build its own Finco. 

Exploratory discussions with Santander regarding Chrysler Capital have begun, according to the company.