LAS VEGAS — Citing the downturn in auto lending in a now difficult market, the outgoing chairman of Credit Union Direct Lending Corp., Henry Wirz, appealed today for greater CU collaboration through the CUDL network as a means to halt the slide.

"Those 8,000 auto dealers today don't want to deal with individual credit unions but they will listen if we aggregate," declared Wirz, who also is president/CEO of SAFE Credit Union, North Highlands, Calif.

Wirz, who spoke at CUDL's annual Auto Lending Symposium here, said his Sacramento CU is witnessing a 7-8% drop in auto loans from a year ago and has been grappling with heightened competition, particularly from the off-shore captive firms.

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