Wednesday, Apr. 11, 2007, 08:00 PM UPDATED 11:59 AMBy Nick Zulovich
CHESTER, Pa. — Wells Fargo & Co. is marking two special milestones in 2007. Wells Fargo & Co. is turning 155, and this month Wells Fargo Auto Finance celebrates 60 years of providing auto financing.
"Being in business for 60 years exemplifies the strength and stability of the Wells Fargo brand and its ability to stay on top in this ever-changing industry," said Gary Lorenz, president of Wells Fargo Auto Finance.
"I feel privileged to be a part of Wells Fargo's 155-year tradition of providing financial services; however, we are the first to recognize that we could not have done this without the tremendous support of our customers and dealers," Lorenz continued.
"Reaching this milestone is a true testament to them, and the people who have worked for Wells Fargo Auto Finance over the past 60 years. They are the ones who made reaching this anniversary possible, and I thank them for all of their hard work, dedication and support. Wells Fargo Auto Finance is committed to continuing its leadership role in the auto finance industry for the next 60 years," he highlighted.
Wells Fargo Auto Finance was founded in 1947 as Community Credit and was acquired by Norwest Financial in 1994. On July 1, 2000, Norwest Financial changed its name to Wells Fargo Financial and the auto finance division became Wells Fargo Financial Acceptance.
Later that year, Wells Fargo Financial acquired Flagship Credit, an indirect automobile lender based in Philadelphia. In July 2005, Wells Fargo Financial Acceptance merged with Wells Fargo Auto Finance Group to become Wells Fargo Auto Finance.
Wells Fargo Goes Full-Spectrum
Just last year, Wells Fargo Financial announced it was expanding the range of consumer credit ratings it finances through the launch of Full Spectrum Pricing in its auto finance division. At the time, company executives told SubPrime Auto Finance News that the new offering was designed to offer dealers a wider range of financial services for their customers.
The successful early 2006 merger of Wells Fargo Financial Acceptance and Wells Fargo's Auto Finance Group made this new program possible, Dan Dissen, senior vice president of loss mitigation at Wells Fargo Financial, explained to SubPrime Auto Finance News.
"The merger of the former Wells Fargo Financial Acceptance and Wells Fargo's Auto Finance Group into Wells Fargo Auto Finance took the best of two strong companies and created a team that through the first half of 2006 has financed more vehicles than any other non-captive in North America," Dissen pointed out.
He went on to characterize Full Spectrum Pricing as a breakthrough program, which offers one-stop shopping for dealers and consumers.
"It makes the process very easy for our dealers to do business," he commented at the time. "Instead of having to work with five to 10 different lenders' programs, they can now send their applications to Wells Fargo Auto Finance and get competitive pricing with one program, and only have to deal with one buyer, one sales representative and one funding department."
According to executives, the goal of Full Spectrum Pricing is to make a dealer's job simpler when it comes to financing, and so far, officials said this is being accomplished.
"Dealer response has been outstanding," Dissen said. "Besides being honored by our dealers with more applications and more business than we have ever received in the history of our company, we have heard first-hand that our new program and our new company structure are making their jobs easier."
"We're pleased that as we've transitioned to become the full-spectrum lender in the business, that we haven't moved away from our dealers' needs with subprime," he continued. "In terms of the market, we feel like subprime will continue to be an important segment for our dealers, and even if it doesn't expand, we want to keep looking for ways to make it easier for our dealers to help these customers."
To learn more about Full Spectrum Pricing, visit .