Drop May Be A Return To Normal

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ONTARIO, Calif.-The 13.6% decline in credit union new car loan balances may signal CU market share is returning to more "normal" levels than what occurred during 2009.

According to Credit Union Direct Lending (CUDL), the 2009 CU auto loan boon may be an exception. "When we look at credit union share of the auto loan market today (17.4%), despite the recent drop (Credit Union Journal, Aug. 16) in new loan balances, share is still a little a bit above what it was in 2007 (16.9%)," pointed out Joe Greenwald, VP marketing.

Last year credit unions saw their auto loan market share soar to a record 24% at one point, thanks much to Cash for Clunkers and little bank competition. But after August, 2009, there has been softening in new car sales and competition has come back, Greenwald noted. "Things really fell hard in September and continued through February."

CUDL has seen a slow uptick in volume since February. Last month the company showed volume at twice the levels it experienced in February. "Let's keep our fingers crossed that February was the trough. The trend seems to be starting to reverse itself. But there is a long way to go."

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