Market Overview

Fitch: Mexican Banks Losing Auto Loan Market Share to Captives

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NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

The competition for Mexico's auto lending market is increasingly being won by the captive financing arms of auto manufacturers, while Mexican banks' market share in auto lending is eroding amid the country's solid growth in light vehicle sales, says Fitch Ratings. As a greater share of the market is potentially lost, we believe that Mexican banks with revived credit demand could seek new strategic partnerships with automotive firms in order to remain competitive in the space.

However, the willingness of manufacturers to also seek partnerships with banks will depend on auto makers' appetite for diversifying sale channels.

Financial captives have historically provided loans to about half of Mexico's total auto loan market; however, over the last five years that share has grown to 65% of all cars sold with a loan in the country. Banks, as well as those non-bank financial companies focusing on consumers with less access to banking services, have been losing share to the captives.

The attraction of Mexico's auto loan market is driven by not only its recent growth, but also by the recent performance of the asset class. Mexican captives' auto loan portfolios, even with their higher growth, have averaged NPLs in a range of 1%-2% over the past several years, versus the banks, which have achieved NPLs in the range of 4%-5%. Delinquency and net charge off rates of auto loans stand well below those of the overall consumer loan averages, including credit cards and personal consumer loans. But in spite of the quality of these automobile loans, they represent just 2.3% of the total loans held by the banks in the Mexican banking system, a relatively small amount.

Mexican banks have achieved below 5% auto loan growth over the last two years, against a backdrop of an 8% compound annual growth rate in light vehicle sales between April 30, 2010 and April 30, 2015. About 1.1 million light vehicles were sold in 2014, 50.4% higher than 2009, according to the Mexican Association of Automotive Distributors.

About 63% of new vehicle sales are financed through loans in Mexico, which is a peak level in the post-crisis period. Generally, as new vehicle price inflation continues, and new car affordability become more difficult, particularly in a sluggish economy, we see the need for financing purchases through loans as likely to remain supported.

The success of the automotive captives stems from the subsidies they receive from their parent auto manufacturers. Wholesale funding costs have also been kept in check, and automotive manufacturers are committed to maintaining market share in a growth environment. Typically, the market shares of financial captives rated by Fitch vary between 30% and 50% of total sales of the brand.

Banks, which generally have lower cost-funding advantages than captives, must still be able to beat the captives' operational advantages that come with being a subsidiary of a manufacturer. In matters of discounting, visibility within the selling process, and movement of vehicles in case of replacement, captives generally have an advantage. Given this, the barriers to entry in the sector are high for banks, and thus it is incumbent upon them to seek alliances with auto makers.

The above article originally appeared as a post on the Fitch Wire credit market commentary page. The original article can be accessed at www.fitchratings.com. All opinions expressed are those of Fitch Ratings.

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Fitch Ratings
Alejandro Tapia, +52 81 8399-9156
Director
Fitch Mexico, S.A. de C.V.
Monterrey, N.L., Mexico
or
Veronica Chau, +52 81 8399-9169
Director
or
Matthew Noll, CFA
Senior Director, +1-212-908-0652
Financial Institutions
Fitch Wire
New York, NY
or
Elizabeth Fogerty, +1-212-908 0526
Media Relations, New York
elizabeth.fogerty@fitchratings.com

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