Lotus Emira First EditionImage: Lotus
If you find yourself in the enviable position of being able to finance a Lotus sports car, you might want to double check your terms as the historic automaker is partnering with the subprime lender Santander to finance its auto loans in the U.S.
2024 Acura Integra Type S | Jalopnik Reviews
If you’re unfamiliar with Santander consider yourself lucky. The finance company is one arm of the Spanish multinational financial services company Santander Group. reports that. It also happens to be one of the largest subprime auto lender in the U.S.
Describing the company as a “subprime” lender is being generous. During my lending days, I saw them pull all kinds of things that should have gotten them investigated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, like failing to pay off a customer’s trade in on time, resulting in the person taking a massive hit to their credit score over a vehicle they didn’t even have anymore.
The company is so bad that attorneys general from 33 states sued Santander over deceptive auto loan practices. Santander was approving people for loans with high interest rates they could never afford. The company eventually settled for $550 million in 2020. Lately Santander has been trying to shake its not-so-good image by pivoting to customers with higher incomes and higher credit scores, hence the partnership with Lotus.
In a statement, Santander president of auto relationships Betty Jotanovic celebrated the partnership between the lender and the English automaker, according to Bloomberg:
Our relationship with Lotus is a testament to our commitment to partnering with prestigious automotive companies, and providing superior experience for our dealers so they can offer financing to customers across the credit spectrum and drive sales.
It’s also been announced that Santander will be providing financing for Ineos and its Land Rover fighting Grenadier in the U.S. All I can say is good luck to the high income earners who finance these things.