The total originations for 2015 ended at $27.9 billion, with a lease portfolio of $5.2 billion, up 14% from 2014.
The “disciplined” growth in auto portfolio was mainly driven by increase in Chrysler Capital business, Chief Executive Jason Kulas said during an earnings call.
“There was a steady, gradual decline of our marketshare, and what it was a symptom of, is that we are very cautious about credit,” Kulas said. “It’s also a sign that competition is picking up.” While most of the top 20 auto lenders decreased in marketshare, the smaller players picked up pace, he said. “We don’t think of it as a trend, because it has been happening just in the past quarter. We watch things very closely, but we are not seeing it [increased competition] reflect in a big way on our performance,” Kulas added.
The company also highlighted an increased focus on improving prime originations starting in December of 2015, when SC saw a 15% year-over-year growth in prime originations.
Separately, the bank relaunched its DRIVE platform in March 2015, to securitize “deep subprime assets that do not conform to the collateral characteristics of their existing platforms, Santander Drive Auto Receivables Trust [SDART] and Chrysler Capital Auto Receivables Trust,” according to a presale report from Standard & Poor’s.