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GLENDALE, Calif. – What do you get when you combine a gas giveaway promotion with a rate drop for auto loans? For 1st City Savings FCU, the winning combination helped the $252 million credit union offer what turned out to be its most successful auto loan promotion of the year. Nearly $8 million in auto loans were funded during the promotion. 1st City Savings gave $50 worth of gas coupons with each car loan funded in August and September. To further peak members’ interest in the promotion, the advertised interest rate for `A’ credit worthy members was dropped a full percentage point, to 6.9%, for 72 months. By the end of August, 1st City Savings had funded $5.6 million in auto loans, which was $2 million over its goal. Credit union spokesman Tom Thompson said the promotion remained strong until September 11′s events, and then the credit union saw a serious drop-off for several days. Even so, Thompson said 1st City Savings ended the month strong. As part of the credit union’s promotion campaign on the deal to members, 1st City Savings held a merchandising contest in the CU’s five branches. The credit union’s Claremont branch, decorated in a gas station theme, won the contest. With over 45,000 members, 1st City Savings is the second largest of the 11 Los Angeles county employee credit unions. Among its field-of-membership are the LA County Sheriff’s Department, Department of Social Services, Robinson-May Company, and Claremont Colleges.

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