Aston Martin Seeks U.S. Boost Through Ally Financial, to Offset Brexit

Luxury British carmaker Aston Martin is pushing further into the U.S. leasing market through a marketing campaign, as it seeks to mitigate an anticipated sales decline in the European Union following the Brexit decision, Matthew Clarke, communications manager for the Americas, told Auto Finance News.

Aston Martin Financial Services handles retail loans, while Ally Financial Inc. has been the preferred leasing source for Aston Martin’s North American dealers since 2015. “Leasing has always been, and will always be, significant in the U.S. market,” Clarke said.

Sales are up globally for the automaker this year, Clarke said, yet in the U.S. Aston Martin has sold 456 cars through August, down from 464 vehicles during the same period the year prior, according to data from Automotive News. However, this data does not break out leases, specifically.

“The solid relationship we have built with Aston Martin helped us grow our lease originations with Aston Martin over the last year,“ said Tim Russi, president of auto finance at Ally.

The automaker is pushing into the U.S. to increase marketshare and volume, as well as to decrease reliance on Europe, Clarke said.

In addition, Aston Martin has reportedly been looking at an initial public offering after earning a profit for the third consecutive quarter. How this would affect the relationship between Ally Financial and Aston Martin Financial Services is “purely speculative” at this time, Clarke told AFN.

“We’re solely focused on the operating performance of the business and delivering our mid-term business plan commitments,” he said, adding that an IPO is at the sole discretion of shareholders.

Ally Financial’s Senior Vice President of Auto Finance Jeff Danford will speak on a panel session entitled “Direct Lending: How to Attract Consumers in a Crowded Online Marketplace” at the upcoming 2017 Auto Finance Summit. Along with Danford’s fellow panelists, he will discuss the benefits of direct models over indirect models, regulatory compliance implications of the direct model, and more.

The 17th annual Auto Finance Summit will take place on Oct. 25-27 at the Wynn Las Vegas. To learn more about this year’s event — or to register — visit the Summit’s homepage here.

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