NEW YORK — Leading auto finance sources took a step forward in 2011, inching higher as the auto finance sector continued to climb out of the depths of the Great Recession, according to the annual “Auto Finance Big Wheels” report.

For the second straight year, the combined portfolios of the Top 100 financiers increased, according to report, which ranks car lenders and lessors.

“The auto finance landscape continues to improve, evidenced by origination and portfolio growth at most of the top 100 companies,” said Marcie Belles, senior consultant with Auto Finance Advisors, which took part in the report. “This year, increased competition and looser underwriting standards will likely spur originations to levels unseen since 2007.”

Loan and lease originations hit $367.7 billion last year, up 12.5 percent from the 2010 report. Ally Financial led the field of financiers with $73.2 billion of loans and leases outstanding, topping Toyota Motor Credit by nearly $10 billion.

Here are the Top 10 auto finance companies from 2011: 1. Ally Financial Inc. 2. Toyota Motor Credit Corp. 3. Chase Auto Finance 4. Ford Motor Credit Co. 5. Wells Fargo Dealer Services Inc. 6. Bank of America Dealer Financial Services 7. American Honda Finance Corp. 8. BMW Financial Services 9. Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp. 10. Capital One Auto Finance Inc.