Huntington Bancshares Inc. is on track for a robust year in auto finance, according to Richard J. Porrello, the bank’s director of auto finance and dealer services.
Huntington saw double-digit growth in auto loan and lease originations, hitting $1.4 billion in the first quarter of 2016, the company previously reported. The bank also spread into three more states late last year, and the upcoming $3.4-billion merger with FirstMerit Bank “has created great opportunity for growth, and our indirect underwriting continues to improve,” Porrello told Auto Finance News.
Following the merger, Huntington’s top priority is “stay committed” to the auto finance space, which is one of the most critical aspects to success in the market, he added. “We have stayed committed to [auto finance], grew our originations year after year, and provided consistent means for dealers,” he said. “That’s the foundation of it: being committed and being consistent. Then, once you have that, you can figure out the best means for providing answers back to dealers swiftly” and to fund loan contracts.
Auto sales continue to be healthy this year, and the industry is strong due to a large amount of pent-up demand in the marketplace, he added. Looking back at 2008 and 2009, “new car sales plummeted in those years, and the industry has been rebuilding. There is a lot of pent-up demand from being in the cycle of where we had this downturn.”
Although the used-car market “has been down the last two months, when you compare to past years, the used-car market is strong,” he added. “The low interest rates and low gas prices — that coupled with strong production from manufacturers — creates great opportunity.”
The Columbus, Ohio-based indirect auto lender provides new and used vehicle lending and vehicle inventory financing to 3,900 dealerships in 20 states across the Midwest and New England.
5 - Readers Like This Post