Chase Mulls Fleet Financing Options for an Autonomous Future

SAN DIEGO — While Chase Auto Finance is not in the fleet financing business, that could be the bank’s first point of entry, as autonomous cars come to market, Peter Gasparro, head of strategy and business development, said at Auto Finance Innovation 2017 yesterday.

“Autonomous, ridesharing, or some of these emerging opportunities — right now they are not consumer lending opportunities,” he told attendees. “They are fleet financing opportunities.”

“Do we want to get into fleet financing? Do we want to get into that level of commercial financing?” Gasparro said. “Autonomous by itself, if there is still a consumer buying that vehicle, and I am underwriting to that consumer, then I will have to think about that because our job is to look at the consumer,” he added. “So, that’s what I think of an autonomous future.”

But fleet financing — as well as models like subscription carshare — are “not on the top of our radar screen,” Gasparro added, although the models are “very interesting.”

“I don’t know if I would do that [subscription carshare] because, at the end of the day, it all comes back to this fleet-management conversation,” he said. “They are managing fleets and they are bundling services for the customer, but not underwriting the consumer — and at the end of the day, the consumer is on the top of my priority list,” and Chase plans to keep its consumer lending business at the forefront, he added.

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