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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Stephen Bentley, chief executive officer, chairman and founder of Aimbridge Lending Solutions, knows the stakes are very high for credit unions fearful of losing auto market share, so he’s making an in-person tour to discuss growth opportunities available for credit unions.

Automotive sales dropped 3% in 2006–the worst decline in eight years–and 2007 is expected to be even worse, said Bentley. Franchise and dealer sales have also been on a downturn at 33% share of market each while casual vehicle sales (consumer to consumer) are the only segment of the business to increase to a hefty 34% and still growing. Auto loan growth rates are down and credit unions are only penetrating on average, 17% of their own member base, he said.

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