Westlake Emerges as Preferred Subprime Lender for CARite

Westlake Financial Services is the new leading provider of subprime and near-prime retail contract loans at CARite dealerships through a strategic partnership announced in a joint press release Thursday.

Westlake snagged the preferred subprime lender slot over two larger players in the space. Ally Financial Inc. and Capital One Auto Finance were already originating on CARite’s platform. Ally and Capital One respectively ranked as the first and third top subprime lenders in 2016, according to Big Wheels Auto Finance 2017. Huntington Auto Finance and Exeter Finance Corp. are also lenders for CARite’s dealer network.

CARite did not respond for comment by press time.

The partnership with Westlake was finalized after a pilot program resulted in a “six-fold increase in originated contracts,” said Mike Cavanaugh, chief operating officer at CARite. The length of the pilot and actual volume of loans was not disclosed.

“While CARite delivers many vehicles through its captive leasing company, some customers simply prefer to buy,” Ian Anderson, president of Westlake, said in the release. “Our product allows CARite dealerships to provide their customers with a great option to purchase a vehicle outright. With a professionally branded dealer network following standard processes, they’ve given us the confidence we need to create a custom advance program that works well for everyone involved.”

Although this partnership does not appear to include a Westlake leasing product, Anderson previously told Auto Finance News that he is preparing a used-vehicle leasing program following the subprime lender’s acquisition of Credit Union Leasing of America (CULA).  

Cavanaugh said in the release that CARite’s captive leasing program called Brite also grew during Westlake’s pilot period.

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