FORT WORTH, Texas — In a scheduled call with investment analysts to announce General Motors Financial Co. Inc.’s first-quarter results, CFO Chris Choate said the process of converting the auto finance company formerly known as AmeriCredit Corp. into GM’s global captive finance company has reached its end.
“Our evolution as a full captive is substantially complete, and we are entering a full captive expansion phase,” Choate said. “… Looking forward, we’re looking to increase our share of prime loan in North America, continue to grow our floorplan strategically, expand our customer relationship management to enhance loyalty and retention.”
When GM acquired AmeriCredit in 2010, the auto finance market was in the early stages of a rebound after the Great Recession spurred an industrywide tightening of lending guidelines and access to credit, particularly for subprime and nearprime car buyers. Seven years later, the landscape has changed considerably, but Choate said GM Financial remains focused on prime retail and leasing contracts.
“In the used-vehicle financing space, we have allowed our market share in that space to erode dramatically,” he said. “If you go back over a two- or three-year time period, our presence in that used-vehicle financing space as the market got a little frothier and really became too narrowly priced. … We still have a presence but it’s way down from what it was.”
Choate said the company counted $6.5 billion in sales contracts at the end of the first quarter, compared to $4.1 billion in the year-ago period. Lease originations fell slightly, from $6.8 billion in the first quarter of 2016 to $6.3 billion in 2017.
Focusing on prime credit consumers allowed GM Financial to buck an industrywide trend toward increased auto loan delinquencies. The share of loans 31 to 60 days delinquent declined from 3.1% in the year-ago quarter to 2.8%, while accounts more than 60 days delinquent fell from 1.4% to 1.2%. Annualized net charge-offs were flat at 1.9%.
All told, the captive’s announced net income for the quarter was $202 million, a marked improvement from the $164 million GM Financial earned in the first quarter of 2016.
“As GM has pointed out in their communications over the last year or more GM Financial is a very strategic business. We are very well-positioned for profitable growth and contribution to overall enterprise value,” Choate said. “And GM Financial’s overall objective is to support GM vehicle sales while achieving appropriate risk-adjusted returns.”