National City Promotes Car Loans

National City Bank of Cleveland is hoping to increase its auto loan business with a game of chance.

In a joint venture with about 100 auto and boat dealers, the lead bank of National City Corp. is sponsoring a contest through which consumers can win a car, auto payments, or cash.

The promotion reflects banks' efforts to entice skittish consumers back to borrowing and comes as many auto dealers are criticizing banks for tightening credit standards and further dampening their sales.

Scratch and Drive

Anyone who buys a vehicle at a participating dealer is eligible to participate in the contest, which features a scratch-off game card. One person will win a new car. Another will receive car payments for a year, and five people will win three months of payments, compliments of National City.

In addition, consumers who take out a National City loan to buy a car, truck, van, recreational vehicle, or boat from a participating dealer are eligible for a rebate up to $100.

Paula Goddard, assistant vice president, said the promotion is part of National City's efforts to develop core relationships, cross-sell products, and improve customer service to dealers. The $8.2 billion-asset bank declined to give the size of its auto portfolio.

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