Leader in indirect vehicle leasing for credit unions tops previous single-year record for originations as number of dealers participating increases
San Diego, CA – January 24, 2023 – Credit Union Leasing of America (CULA) set a new record in 2022 for lease originations with $2.7 billion in leases, surpassing their single year record of $2 billion set in 2021, the company announced today. The company originated 64,000 leases through its credit union partners in 2022, up from 50,000 in 2021. In addition, the Company is now originating loans in 9 more states, added 7 credit unions, and increased the number of participating auto dealers by 42%.
“Leasing has proved to be a powerful short term, low risk, strong yield option that not only gives credit union members more payment flexibility but also, as vehicle prices skyrocket, provides dealers new opportunities to be more competitive by offering their customers a more affordable way to buy cars, while increasing loyalty and CSI,” said Ken Sopp, President of CULA. “Our record 2022 numbers reflect the increasing number of credit unions and auto dealers who, in today’s volatile auto finance environment, are offering consumers the benefits of credit union vehicle leasing.”
According to Cox Automotive Inc.'s list of “10 Predictions for 2023,” vehicle availability was the #1 challenge for car buyers in 2022, and for 2023 affordability tops the list helping to fuel consumer interest in leasing as credit unions’ auto finance share soars: in Q3 2022 credit unions produced 28.4% of loans and leases from lenders, surpassing banks for the first time, according to Experian's State of the Automotive Finance Market Report.
Sopp noted that the percentage of credit unions that participate in vehicle leasing is up nearly 50% because affordable leasing gives shoppers the power of more payment flexibility, while also keeping their vehicle under warranty. “The alignment between current high interest rates, the absence of incentives by OEMs and captive finance companies, and the high price of vehicles, puts vehicle leasing in the sweet spot of credit union auto finance.”
CULA offers an analytically driven, high-value leasing program and handles the intricacies of leasing for its clients – including analytics, insurance, operations, compliance and more. Its partners include the industry’s most innovative credit unions, including nine of the top 10 credit unions offering leasing in the U.S. The program enables credit unions to easily add leasing to their portfolios and dealers to offer their customers more finance options, especially as affordability becomes their main concern.
John Hendricks, senior vice president of lending at St. Mary’s Credit Union in Marlborough, MA reports that they were not only able to provide members with a car buying alternative, but also effectively grow an auto portfolio at a rate they hadn’t seen in some time. “With the price of cars continuing to increase, leasing is becoming more prevalent and is now a necessary tool for credit unions to remain competitive in the indirect space,” said Hendricks.
“In the current market of high interest rates and low availability, CULA has allowed us to maintain a competitive advantage against our competitors with program options for both new and used car leasing,” says Cody Carter, Internet Sales Manager at Tustin Toyota in Southern California, who works with CULA.
CULA has been the leader in indirect vehicle leasing for credit unions for over 30 years. Founded in 1988, CULA provides best-in-class program assistance, analytics reporting, compliance support, dealer management tools and member services, all supported by stellar customer service and proven systems. CULA’s understanding of the credit union financial model has resulted in long-term business relationships with top-tier credit unions, including nine of the top 10 credit unions offering leasing in the U.S.
“Indirect vehicle leasing plays an important role, helping break through roadblocks faced by credit unions, dealers, and consumers,” concluded Sopp.
About Credit Union Leasing of America
Credit Union Leasing of America (CULA) has been the leader in indirect vehicle leasing for credit unions for over 30 years. Founded in 1988, CULA provides best-in-class program assistance, analytics reporting, compliance support, dealer management tools and member services. The CULA indirect vehicle leasing program empowers credit union innovators to diversify their existing loan portfolios, improve yield and expand member services. Visit https://www.cula.com/ to learn more.
Angela Jacobson, mWEBB Communications, angela(at)mwebbcom(dot)com, (714) 454-8776
Melanie Webber, mWEBB Communications, melanie(at)mwebbcom(dot)com, (949) 307-1723