WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Recent analysis from Power Information Network discovered that market share penetration by captives grew by more than 5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007 versus the same period in 2006.

"Industry-wide rates have dropped by more than .67 percent from the end of 2006 to the end of 2007, and captives have been offering rates almost 1.5 percent below those of a year ago," PIN officials reported.

"The captives have raised their mix of transactions with rates below 5 percent to almost one-third of the total, more than twice the mix of the overall industry," they continued.

"The captives' lower rates have enabled them to offer monthly payments $15 below a year ago even though prices have risen. Down payments have declined by more than $500 as well," PIN highlighted.

All this taken into account has led captives to gain ground in market penetration, in addition to increasing the average amount of a transaction financed.

Breaking it down from the fourth quarter of 2006 to 2007:

Finance transactions' percentage of total retail transactions: 51.6 percent to 53.8 percent

Average term: 64 months in both 2006 and 2007

Most popular term: 60 months in 2006, compared with 72 in 2007

Captives' percentage of total financed: 49.4 percent to 54.6 percent 

Finance transactions with 72-month loans comparing 2006 to 2007:

APR: 9.7 percent versus 8.9 percent in 2007

APR for captives only: 8.4 percent to 6.9 percent

APR less than 5 percent: 8.6 percent to 15.8 percent

APR less than 5 percent for captives only: 20.3 percent to 32.5 percent

Monthly payment: $483 to $478 in 2007

Monthly payment for captives only: $486 to $472

Total down: $3,620 to $3,307 in 2007

Total down for captives only: $3,218 to $2,711

Percent financed: 88.4 percent to 89.5 percent

Percent financed for captives only: 89.9 percent to 91.3 percent