Ally Financial, the former lending arm of General Motors, is set to honor GM dealer Brent Morgan today for driving his dealership to success.
Morgan's Saturn dealership had faced adversity from GM's decision to eliminate the brand from its lineup, but with support from Ally Financial, Morgan said he was able to return to profitability following his acquisition of other GM brands, including Cadillac, GMC and Buick.
"We exceeded our objective in this market by 139 percent for September," Morgan said.
Ally Financial, which makes floorplan loans to 86 percent of the GM dealers who make use of wholesale financing, honored Morgan's Integrity Automotive in the first wave of a national ad campaign set to run through the first half of 2011, said Doug Timmerman, Ally's vice president for the southeast region.
"It's a remarkable success story, working through a difficult and challenging situation with what happened to Saturn, and really turning it around," Timmerman said.
The ad appeared in the August and September issues of Automotive News, and pictures Morgan standing in front of a row of Cadillacs at Integrity, holding a photo from 2009 depicting the old Saturn dealership shot from the same angle.
"This was the very first series of this ad campaign," Timmerman said. "Brent was leading our charge, and we're very proud of this relationship."
Ally, which is majority owned by the U.S. Treasury, has also expanded its presence into making car loans, doubling consumer auto "originations" to 400,000 in the first half of 2010 from about 200,000 in the first half 2009, officials said.
Morgan added that while it's become harder to get a traditional loan from a bank, "Ally has stayed in the game, and we can say that our partnership with them continues to help make that loan to that consumer."