The buying “journey is shifting,” Morris said. Previously, people would think about financing at the end of the process at the dealership, she said. But now, “people are doing extensive research prior to going to the dealership to understand their options.”

This is especially true as people complete more of the buying process online. At the same time, there are “more and more financial providers with similar products when it comes to vehicle financing,” she said. “You have more banks getting into the business as well as the rise of fintech — it’s a competitive market and we plan to compete.”

She declined to reveal how much Ford Credit is spending on the campaign, but said “we are looking to make every dollar work as hard as possible.”

Morris, who joined Ford Credit about a year ago after a nearly five-year stint at Kraft Heinz, is the first person to serve as Ford Credit’s head of global marketing.

Changing marketplace

Ford Credit is in a class of lenders called “captive financing,” which refers to the financial arms of automakers. Captive lenders accounted for 26 percent of auto loan origination in 2021, down from 29 percent in 2020, according to the latest data shared in McKinsey & Company’s “Disruption and innovation in U.S. auto financing” report published in February. 

The report documented shifting patterns in the industry, noting that banks in 2021 regained share “by relaxing credit restrictions.” As interest rates jumped in 2022, “credit unions marginally overtook banks in market share (28 percent of financing compared with 27 percent for banks) due in part to lower pricing,” the report noted. New lending players include more regional banks, online auto retailers (such as Carvana and Vroom), as well as fintechs such as AutoFi, Autopay and Caribou Financial, according to the report.

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