COLUMBUS, OHIOHuntington Bancshares Inc. announced that it is significantly expanding its Michigan auto dealer financing business and will add key personnel in Michigan to support the expansion.

“With Michigan’s continuing economic recovery, we expect the state to remain a robust market for us,” said Richard Porrello, director of Huntington’s auto finance business. “New- and used-car sales have risen significantly in Michigan, and auto dealers need the consistent and supportive financing options that Huntington delivers.”

Porrello said Huntington’s proven track record of consistent credit underwriting practices and superior customer service helped Huntington significantly increase its market share last year in many of the states where it does business. Huntington currently ranks number one in market share for auto dealer financing in Ohio and Kentucky, according to AutoCount Data.

To support its expansion plans, Huntington will hire professionals in Michigan to manage the expected increase in sales and underwriting functions. Leading the way is industry veteran Brad Norman, who recently joined Huntington as the Michigan regional manager for the auto finance business. Norman spent 30 years with Chrysler Financial Services, where he was responsible for building and managing the company’s largest business center focused on indirect retail auto loans and dealer commercial loans. In his most recent role, Norman was director of financial services for Block Imaging International in Lansing, Mich.

Huntington has provided new- and used-automobile financing and dealer services throughout the Midwest since the early 1950s, and currently serves customers in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and the New England area. The company also delivers comprehensive banking services for many of its auto dealer customers.