Chrysler partners with Santander Consumer USA to develop a captive financing arm for purchasers and lessees of Chrysler and Fiat products.

Called Chrysler Capital, the unit also will provide wholesale financing and financing for dealership construction, real estate, working capital and revolving lines of credit. Chrysler Capital launches May 1.

The auto maker will continue to do business with Ally Financial and other financial institutions. However, Chrysler has chosen not to renew its agreement with Ally, its preferred lender since the auto maker’s 2009 bankruptcy, when it comes up for renewal in April.

Chrysler’s partnership with Santander, a division of the Spain-based Banco Santander, lasts for 10 years.

“We expect Chrysler Capital to help Chrysler Group continue its sales growth by offering consumers the most competitive and innovative retail purchase and lease financing available in the marketplace,” Peter Grady, vice president-Network Development and Fleet for Chrysler, says in a news release.

“We found in Santander Consumer USA a nimble partner backed by the strength and experience of a worldwide banking leader. We have been impressed with Santander Consumer USA's capabilities, energy and attitude about selling Chrysler Group vehicles.”

The auto maker has not said if Chrysler Capital will be based at the auto maker’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, MI, or elsewhere. “Today is just the first step in this journey. Much of the foundation for Chrysler Capital has already been established with Santander Consumer USA, but we have a lot of work still ahead of us with the goal of supporting our dealer network with best in class products and services,” Grady writes in an e-mailed statement.

Chrysler has been without a private-label financial arm since 2009, when Ally became the top lender for dealers.

afoley@wardsauto.com