GM Financial plans to add several hundred more jobs next year, the company’s top executive said Tuesday, as the auto lender celebrated the completion of a $35 million expansion at its south Arlington campus.
The 240,000-square-foot facility, located at 3801 S. Collins St. in a former JPMorgan Chase call center, was retooled to handle rapid growth that the lender has experienced since becoming the captive finance unit for General Motors.
The renovated building, which includes a training and conference center, is the fourth building in a campus stretching along the north side of Interstate 20, with locations both west and east of Collins.
About 1,300 employees will work in the new building, bringing the number of GM Financial employees in Arlington to 3,400 in functions including loan processing, customer service, collections, human resources and IT. The company also has 700 employees at its downtown Fort Worth headquarters.
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GM Financial, known as AmeriCredit when the subprime auto lender was acquired by GM in 2010, has nearly doubled its size in Arlington since 2014 when it shifted into making traditional prime loans and leases. Today, the company handles all of the leasing for GM dealers and about 25 percent of loans for GM sales, said Dan Berce, GM Financial’s president and CEO. Just 16 percent of its U.S. loan volume now is subprime, or made at higher interest rates to borrowers who have troubled credit histories.
Berce said the company could expand its Texas employment from 4,500 to 5,000 next year, as it adds more help to handle loans. It has a service center under construction in San Antonio.
Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams, State Sen. Brian Birdwell and State Rep. Chris Turner joined Berce to mark the occasion, and noted GM’s impact on the city. Including the massive Arlington Assembly Plant, where some 4,200 workers build large SUVs such as the Chevrolet Tahoe and Cadillac Escalade, GM is easily the biggest private-sector employer in Arlington, with nearly 8,000 employees.
The city helped with the expansion, granting GM Financial a seven-year tax incentive package for the project that provides an 80 percent break on property taxes for improvements to the facility.
Berce said loan growth has continued for GM Financial in 2016, even as auto sales have plateaued. In the third quarter, retail loan originations were $5.1 billion, up from $4.7 billion a year earlier, and operating lease originations were $6.2 billion, flat from the previous year. Total assets have increased to $82 billion from $65.9 billion at the end of 2015.
For the first nine months of 2016, the lender reported net income of $500 million, off from $515 million, due in part to the costs of its facility expansions.