SAN DIEGO – Credit Union Leasing of America (CULA) announced that vehicle leasing through its credit union partners continues to gain momentum, after posting its 9th consecutive month of record lease originations in June. After achieving $150 million in lease originations in a single month for the first time in October 2020, CULA broke $200 million in lease originations in a single month for the first time in its history in May of this year. That was followed by more than $215 million in lease originations in June.
The first six months of 2021 brought in over $950 million in lease originations, an 88.8% increase over the same period in 2019, and the highest period of originations in its more than 30-year history. CULA is the leader in indirect vehicle leasing for credit unions and has originated more than one billion dollars in vehicle leases for credit unions annually on average since 2018. CULA helps many of the industry’s most innovative credit unions grow membership, diversify lending options, and increase yield, including nine of the top 10 credit unions offering car leasing in the U.S.
“This has been a remarkable six months for credit union vehicle leasing and for CULA. Our success is only possible because of our extraordinary credit union partners whose competitive rates and ability to scale their teams and processes have enabled them to meet consumer demand,” said Ken Sopp, President of CULA.
In just the last two months, CULA expanded its leasing footprint into New Hampshire and Texas, and recently helped increase regional coverage for credit unions in Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Southern California, among the many markets it serves.
“As CULA has expanded into new states, bringing on new credit union partners, we are well-positioned to serve a post-pandemic market that is seeking out the affordability and flexibility vehicle leasing offers, all of which is reflected in the record lease volume we have been seeing,” continued Sopp.
Sopp noted that even though leasing decreased nationwide, in Q1 2021(1), it increased for CULA through CULA’s credit union partners, with seven setting all-time high records in lease volume in May. Meanwhile, CULA has also increased its engagement with auto dealerships during the past six months, hitting new records for auto dealerships submitting leases through CULA credit union partners. For the first time in their history CULA had dealers that leased more than 100 vehicles in a single month through their credit unions – with one dealer just short of reaching the 200 mark.
“CULA’s recent milestones were achieved during the lowest new car inventory level in history,” said Mark Chandler, CULA’s VP of Business Development. “These record numbers were greatly helped by the increase in the number of our valued auto dealer partners in new and existing markets, all of whom benefitted from the data, analytics and communication specific to each dealer’s inventory that our team provides every day.”
According to Chandler, the trends that have been fueling credit union success with leasing show no sign of abating: “For those seeking affordable payments as they emerge from the pandemic’s challenges, leasing’s lower payment (on average $100 or more lower per month) makes a huge difference. And for those who can’t find the exact model they want because of inventory constraints, a shorter commitment helps advance their decision. Just as importantly, the trusted position credit unions hold in their communities in these uncertain times, is more important than ever and that holds true when members are ready to lease.”
CULA pioneered indirect vehicle leasing for credit unions with its analytically driven, high-value leasing program supported by stellar customer service and proven systems, all with a focus on helping credit unions meet their financial and membership goals.