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Chase Becomes Mazda's Finance Source

September 26, 2008

Painting its announcement as an opportunity for both Mazda and Ford Motor Credit Co. to focus on their individual businesses, a Mazda spokesman confirmed the company will begin using Chase Auto Finance as its finance source for dealers and customers starting in October.

Chase will now take over all lease operations from Mazda American Credit, a division of Ford Motor Credit. Ford currently owns 33.4 percent of the Japanese automaker, which has 662 U.S. franchises.

"This was a joint agreement between Mazda and Ford," said Jeremy Barnes, spokesman for Mazda. "It should be seen as an opportunity for both sides. It gives Ford Credit the ability to focus on Ford’s business and Mazda to focus on Mazda."

In an e-mail sent to dealers on Wednesday, Mazda CEO Jim O’Sullivan said Chase will begin providing Mazda dealers with subvented retail and lease programs. He added that Mazda will continue its subventive programs until Oct. 15, but that new customers from Oct. 16 onward will be financed exclusively through Chase.

The news came the same day Chase's parent company, JPMorgan Chase & Co., came to the rescue of Washington Mutual Inc., buying the thrift’s banking assets after WaMu was seized by federal regulators in the largest bank failure ever in U.S. bank history.

Mary Kay Bean, a spokesperson for Chase, said the transition should be smooth and that Mazda will have a dedicated sales team and custom products in the future.

"Chase can provide a full range of financing options for Mazda buyers," she said. "Chase has the scale and overall experience, as well as the specific experience of working with manufacturers of mainly small and midsize vehicles. Mazda and its customers can count on Chase's expertise in auto finance as well as the stability and strength of its parent company, JPMorgan Chase & Co."

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