Credit unions continued to play a significant role in the auto
financing market as the second half of 2003 began. The automobile
sales market turned in strong numbers in July, with new car sales
rising to an annualized rate of 17.2 million vehicles. The number
of vehicles financed during the month reflects the increase in purchases,
rising 6.1% versus June's financing activity.
Credit unions rode this strong July market, experiencing 6.0% higher
auto loan volume based on information for 29 states from AutoCount
USA, a provider of auto lien data that has partnered with Callahans
and Credit Union Direct Lending to provide credit unions with local
and national market share information. The July origination activity
resulted in a 16.1% share of the total auto loan market. This share
is down slightly from credit unions' 16.3% recorded in June, the
highest level recorded in 2003. Credit unions share of the total
auto finance market, including leases, held at 15.1% in July.
Credit unions have seen a steady increase in market share throughout
2003, and their current share has returned to the peak level posted
by credit unions in June 2002. Colorado credit unions continue to
lead the nation in state market share, accounting for over 32% of
all auto loans originated during the month and nearly 30% of the
total auto financing market. As shown below, there are five states
overall in which credit unions hold at least a 20% share of the
auto lending market.