Business Growth

The Impact of EVs on Auto Lending

Things are looking pretty rosy for credit unions in the auto lending space. According to the Experian Q4 2022 Auto Finance Market Report, credit unions now capture nearly 25 percent of new loans and experienced the highest growth within the auto lending market. Payments and loan amounts also increased year-over-year in 2022, adding more revenue to credit unions auto loan portfolios. Credit unions remain the best option for many consumers with rates at 5.5 percent versus banks, financing companies and other types of lenders.

In the used car space, credit unions have pulled ahead to become the number one option for financing with greater than 30 percent market share. Terms and rates increased across all types of credit segments while loan amounts and payments also increased. As with new loans, credit unions also offered the lowest rates at roughly 7 percent versus other financing options. But amid all the good news, 60-day delinquencies ticked up to above pre-COVID levels for the first time since 2018. For some segments of the economy, money woes are growing.

Opportunities in EVs on the horizon

 While sales of U.S. passenger vehicles fell in 2022, the number of electric vehicles (EVs) sold rose by a remarkable 65 percent, an increase of almost two thirds compared to 2021. EVs accounted for 5.8 percent of all new cars sold in the US, an increase from 3.1 percent the year prior. Industry projections expect the number of electric vehicles sold in the US will surpass the 1-million mark in 2023. This growth will be driven by OEMs increasing inventory, improved charging infrastructure, and affordability. The average price of an EV sold in the US last year was $61,448, a 5.5 percent decrease compared to 2021.

Business Growth

The Early Bird Tactic to Growing Your Auto Loan Volume

According to the FDIC, cash is readily at hand as a record $2 trillion in cash hit the deposit accounts of U.S. banks since the beginning of the pandemic. With interest rates near zero, net interest margins have narrowed. Financial institutions would love to issue loans, but there are few opportunities to grow right now. Auto loans are a frequent go-to solution, but the pandemic has added a few wrinkles to that tried-and-true tactic.

Used car values typically decline during a recession, raising concerns about negative net equity on typically long-term 84-month loans. But analysis from Edmunds reflects there could be more demand for used vehicles versus new, as the cost of new units continue to rise and manufacturers continue to fall behind on production schedules.  

How can a credit union capitalize on the opportunity to grow their auto loan portfolio? The first step is to reach the car shopper early in their search. By the time a consumer visits a dealership, they are likely to have conducted an average of 13-14 hours of research. Offer proactive, pre-approved loans to members along with assistance in selecting the best deal for their credit position. Partner with members in their buying journey rather than waiting for them to come to you.


Growth vs. Risk in Today’s Economy

Brien Joyce Vice President EFG Companies
Contributing Author:
Brien Joyce
Vice President
EFG Companies

The economy has been heavily featured in the news lately, with some pundits ringing the recession bell and others pointing to low unemployment and consumer confidence. Whichever way your divining rod is pointing, the fact remains that these economic indicators prompt savvy credit union lenders to be on alert.  

From a retail automotive standpoint, first quarter numbers are validating the forecasted plateau/slight downturn in both new and used sales. According to the first quarter Experian statistics, new vehicle registrations were down 100,000 as compared to Q1 2018. Used vehicle registration took a steeper dive, dropping by 300,000 versus the same time frame.

As context, quarterly auto loan balances reached a record high in Q1 2019, jumping 6.5% year over year. The average new loan also hit a record high, surpassing $32,000, reflective of the continued high cost of vehicles and lack of OEM incentives. The monthly payment amount on those loans also hit a record, passing the $550 mark across all loan types. The interest rate on all risk categories averaged over 6%. Credit may be cheap at the Federal Reserve lending window, but it is holding firm against pressure at the auto loan desk.

A few anomalies also appeared in Experian’s first quarter data. Surprisingly, new auto loan terms decreased while used terms increased in Q1 2019. It is likely that even with low unemployment in many areas of the country, job security and available discretionary income remains low. While longer term loans continued to dominate the market, new loans with shorter terms experienced growth. This factor may be attributed to a generational demographic. Millennials and GenZ tend to be debt averse, having experienced the fallout from the Great Recession first hand. As these consumers gain a credit history, they could become an interesting short term/low payment niche market if the data continues to follow the trend.