Chrysler in talks with Santander on new lending pact - report

Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:38am EST

Nov 15 (Reuters) - Chrysler Group LLC, a unit of Fiat SpA , is in talks with Spain's Banco Santander SA to make the bank's U.S. unit its preferred lender, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Chrysler entered into a 30-day negotiating period with the Spanish lender to replace the incumbent Ally Financial Inc , the agency said. ()

Early this year, Chrysler said that it will allow its pact with Ally Financial, the former lending arm of General Motors , to expire at the end of April 2013.

Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported that Ally financed 31.6 percent of Chrysler's U.S. customers last year, and 66.7 percent of its dealers.

"Chrysler Group has entered into a 30-day period where it is negotiating exclusively with a potential partner to provide financial services to our dealers and their customers," Peter Grady, Chrysler Group's vice president for network development and fleet, told the Wall Street Journal in a statement.

Chrysler and Santander's U.S. unit could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. hours.

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