In 2004, credit unions share of the auto loan market decreased from 17.6 percent of all loans in 2003 to 16.7 percent as of December 2004. Of the thirty-two states that reported data to AutoCount USA in 2003 and 2004, credit unions in twenty-four of these states lost market share while eight gained market share. Credit unions in three of the states, South Carolina, North Dakota and Colorado, lost more than 5 percent of their market share from last year.
This loss in market share isn’t because credit unions are offering less desirable financing options. According to Consumer Reports, in twenty-two out of thirty cases, members benefited by financing their vehicle through a credit union rather than captive financers, manufacturers and banks. For credit unions to regain their auto loan market share, they need to more actively inform their members and potential members of the better rates that they offer. This is especially true now as manufacturers roll back their rebates and other incentives.