Captive auto lenders still topped the banks in the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study, released last week. But banks are gaining ground, says Richard Howse, senior director of J.D. Power’s auto financing area: “Satisfaction with banks is gaining at a much greater pace than with the financing industry as a whole,” he observes.

The study is based on consumer responses between May and September, “prior to all the craziness,” Howse notes. Captive financers have “built strong relationships with dealers over the years, and this is a relationship business.” Even though “market dynamics are changing a little bit” customers continue to focus on “how they are treated—who resolves problems on the first try, who has the best billing statements,” adds Howse.

The rankings put BMW first in the luxury loan segment, with Chase Auto Finance eighth and Bank of America ninth; Hyundai Motor Finance ranked first in the non-luxury loan area followed by US Bank (12), Regions (13), Wachovia Dealer Services (14), Branch Banking and Trust (15), Chase Auto Finance (16), Harris Bank (17), Citizens/Charter One Auto Finance (18), CitiFinancial Auto (19) SunTrust Bank (20), Capital One Auto Finance (21), Sovereign Bank (22), Huntington National Bank (23), and Fifth Third Bank (24).

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.