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Chris Bryant

The Real Winner of the Used Car Bubble Is Revealed

Windfall profits from car financing are padding automakers’ bottom lines. 

A bubble.

A bubble.

Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America

When Porsche tried in 2008 to take over (much larger) Volkswagen AG using opaque financial derivatives, analysts pejoratively dubbed it a “hedge fund” that also makes sports cars. The bid was unsuccessful.

Now Porsche is part of Volkswagen, and the parent could almost be described as a “credit giant” with some car brands attached. This structure, though, is doing wonders for the German manufacturer’s bottom line.