Ever since GM had to walk away from GMAC, dealers have had to rely on outside lenders in order to sell cars. One dealer said, "Getting a customer financed today is the hardest thing, even if they have good numbers," but a GM-owned finance arm could be more proactive with lending, and therefore moving metal and making money.
The report indicates that if Whitacre were looking to acquire Ally, he might only want to deal with the auto finance arm, leaving the other lending branches alone. Still, he'd have to sort out Ally's status as a bank holding company, and that might be too much to swallow. He could also form a partnership with other banks in the meantime, but it will take time to get banks on GM's side in the way GM wants, and Whitacre isn't a man out to waste time; he wants a deal in place by the end of the year before taking the company public.
[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req'd | Image: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images]