AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Santander Consumer USA Inc. will officially assume the Chrysler Capital name on May 1, when it assumes the role of captive finance arm for Chrysler Group and FIAT.

Chrysler Capital will provide full-spectrum retail financing and leasing through Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram Truck, SRT and FIAT dealers. It also will provide wholesale financing and related services to Chrysler Group and FIAT dealers.

"We expect Chrysler Capital to help Chrysler Group continue its sales growth by offering consumers the most competitive and innovative retail purchase and lease financing available in the marketplace," stated Peter Grady, vice president of network development and fleet for Chrysler Group, in a company press release. "We have been impressed with Santander Consumer USA's capabilities, energy and attitude about selling Chrysler Group vehicles."

Santander Consumer USA, a financial services company based in Dallas, is majority owned by Banco Santander of Madrid, Spain. Banco Santander has more than 40 agreements with more than 10 automobile manufacturers around the world.

Under this 10-year, private-label agreement, Santander Consumer USA will establish a separate business unit dedicated to providing financial services under the Chrysler Capital name. In addition to offering floorplan financing for new and used inventory, Chrysler Capital will provide financing for dealership construction, real estate, working capital and revolving lines of credit.

Under the agreement, Santander Consumer USA will provide Chrysler Group with a nonrefundable upfront payment and a quarterly share of revenues. Barclays was the exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Chrysler Group in its evaluation of auto finance partners and in this agreement with Santander Consumer USA.

"Our top priority will be to provide best-in-class service to Chrysler's dealer body and retail consumers,” said Thomas Dundon, CEO and president of Santander Consumer USA. “We are confident that this relationship will result in the most innovative branded finance solution in the market. The goal is to leverage an improved information flow that shows us how, as a finance provider, we can work with Chrysler to improve our offers to dealers and customers, to capture incremental sales."

As Chrysler Group and Santander Consumer USA prepare for the launch of Chrysler Capital, Chrysler Group and FIAT dealers will continue to do business as usual through Ally Financial Inc. and other financial institutions. Chrysler Group's existing contract with Ally will expire on April 30, 2013.

"Ally has been a good business partner for Chrysler and has forged strong relationships with many of our dealers,” Grady said. “Chrysler Group expects that Ally will continue to do a good job for our dealers and retail customers beyond the April 30 expiration of our current agreement."