Santander Consumer USA originations hit $31.3 billion for year end 2019, bolstered by the subprime lender’s highest ever annual Chrysler Capital penetration rate, according to the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call.
Chrysler Capital’s penetration rate shot up to 32%, with originations totaling $12.8 billion. In 2018, the penetration rate was 30%, an increase from 21% in 2017. Also, Chrysler Capital loans with 640-plus FICO scores shot up 82% to $7.1 billion compared with the prior year.
However, fourth-quarter Chrysler Capital lease volume decreased 15% year over year to $1.8 billion. “Part of it is, from a dollar standpoint, slightly lower levels of leases from FCA generally,” Chief Financial Officer Fahmi Karam said, adding that SCUSA has experienced “pressure” from credit unions that have entered the leasing market. Despite the decline, SCUSA still maintains the largest share of FCA leases “by far,” he noted, originating $8.5 billion in leases last year. Already, Santander is regaining some of the lost lease volume in January, he added.
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