Lake Michigan CU Opens Used CarLot

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HUDSONVILLE, Mich. - (03/23/05) -- Lake Michigan CU, one of the biggestauto lenders among credit unions, said it has opened a new facilityto sell vehicles on which the leases have expired. Lake MichiganAuto Center, one of just three used car lots run by a credit union,offers as many as 225 cars spread across five acres of formerfarmland next to the credit union's branch here. The credit unionbegan running the lot as a pilot about a year ago when its fleetstarted growing, according to Kim Bray, manager of the facility, athird-generation car dealer. "The initial thought was, 'let's justrun it through the auction," he told The Credit Union Journal. Butthen they decided with a critical shortage of 'clean,' used cars,those with which the previous owners are known, "why not enter intothe market?" he said. The operation is run by the credit union's CUFinancial Group CUSO and also offers leases to customers through150 area car dealers. The credit union expects to have a readysupply of leased vehicles for the lot because it holds leases on13,000 vehicles, with leases on as many as 200 cars a monthexpiring. The auto center opened last month with a motto, 'Nearlynew direct to you.'

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