How Did The Financial Crisis Affect The Car Loans Market? – Guest Post
It is a known fact that the recession that started back in 2008 had a tremendous impact on the car loans market. Four years ago, it was extremely difficult to obtain a car loan, therefore less and less people were able to purchase new vehicles. However, over the past several months, car loans have become a lot easier to find. Even so, both customers and financial analysts are asking themselves if this is good or bad for the overall economy.
One thing is for sure: the numerous restrictions among lenders are easing, slowly but surely. This is certainly great news for those who need new vehicles, but most people still wonder whether this can have a negative impact on the economy and if suddenly approving a large number of credits can get the United States into a new financial crisis.
When it comes to statistics, these numbers should also be taken into account. For instance, approximately 40% of the car loans approved in the United States of America are held by super prime lenders, while only 10% are held by sub-prime lenders.
Regarding the actual state of the car loans market in the USA, it must be mentioned that the loan rates have slightly dipped compared to 2011. In addition, the average length of car loans has increased an entire month, just like the average sum that is financed for both brand new cars and used vehicles (this has increased with almost 600 dollars over the past year for new cars and with more than 400$ in the case of used vehicles).
Repossessions are down as well compared to last year. As a matter of fact, the number of reported repossessions has decreased with approximately 40% in the first quarter of this year, compared to the first quarter of 2011.
Talking in numbers, the total sales in May reached a staggering number of 1.3 million trucks and cars, up to 26% more compared to the same month of 2011. This is said to be the best May since the financial crisis started four years ago, back in 2008.
All these good results mentioned above actually surprised many financial analysts. This was like a breath of fresh air that was more than welcome among both the analysts and the consumers. Moreover, one of the most known car manufacturers recorded an increase of approximately 90% in sales, while another popular manufacturer recorded an increase of almost 50%, compared to the same period of last year. Last year these manufacturers were seriously affected by the massive earthquake in Japan, which seriously damaged their factories. This is the reason why they ran short on both trucks and cars last year. Nevertheless, now they are back on track and they are ready to provide even more high-quality, reliable vehicles than before.
Putting it in a nutshell, all car manufacturers recorded major improvements in what regards sales. While the sales tripled for some of the manufacturers, others only recorded an increase of around 10-20% compared to last year. Even so, it is still an improvement that must not be dismissed.
Despite the fact that the news regarding car loans market are positive, some analysts still fear the worse. This happens due to the fact that the consumers who held off buying new vehicles during the financial crisis are reaching the point when they want to replace their old cars with brand new ones. Provided that the economy keeps growing, it is expected that the pent-up demand from the financial crisis will boost sales in 2013. This is the reason why car manufacturers are struggling to design new cars with more improved features for next year.
To sum up, the car loans market has significantly improved compared to 2011, and it is expected to improve even more in 2013. This mainly happens due to the fact that the economy is growing and manufacturers produce new car models. It is now when consumers are starting to replace their old vehicles with new ones, and this will certainly boost the number of car loans. Regardless if customers will use car loans for purchasing new or used cars, the car loans market will undoubtedly record a dramatic improvement. This is what lenders have been waiting for and although some have reasons to fear that this boost may have a negative impact, others are very optimistic about it!
Victor is financial consultant and personal finance blogger.