Our History

Thirty Years and Counting

SAFCO is short for Southern Auto Finance Company and was founded in 1990 by George Fussell, who remains at the helm as CEO and President.

We initially served as the captive lender for Anything on Wheels in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Since then, we’ve become a leader in the industry and one of the most experienced providers of sub-prime automotive consumer financing in the country.

Here’s a look at some of the major milestones in our history.

Our History

1990
1990

SAFCO, pronounced SAF (like half) – CO, is founded by George Fussell as a captive finance company for a large and successful one-price used car dealership dba Anything on Wheels.

1991
1991

SAFCO makes its first loan.

1997
1997

Anything on Wheels is sold to AutoNation.

1997

George Fussell is hired to run a national chain of dealerships named ValuStop.

1997

1997- 2000: SAFCO sees significant growth as result of the AutoNation/ValuStop, which included originations from Texas-based stores.

2000
2000

AutoNation closes all of its used-car stores.

2001
2001

Anything on Wheels re-opens with two locations.

2001

SAFCO signs an agreement with Bercadia (jointly owned by Berkshire Hathaway/Lecadia) to service a $100mm troubled loan portfolio based in Orlando Florida. As a result, the SAFCO Loan Servicing Center is established in Orlando.

2001

SAFCO signs agreements with Bercadia for five additional troubled loan portfolios.

2004
2004

SAFCO begins indirect lending in Florida, Georgia, and Texas.

2005
2005

SAFCO signs a Preferred Lending Agreement with AutoNation.

2006
2006

SAFCO signs financing facility with Wells Fargo for up to $75mm for indirect lending and another $40mm with Capital Source for captive lending.

2007
2007

SAFCO integrates a loan origination system with Dealertrack, a comprehensive software platform that operates the largest online credit application network in the country.

2008
2008

SAFCO successfully navigates its way through the Great Recession.

2010
2010

SAFCO acquires Affiliated Finance Company portfolio from Mitsu National Bank.

2010

SAFCO acquires several small portfolios from Capital Source and Wells Fargo.

2012
2012

SAFCO indirect portfolio sees significant growth with licenses in 15-states.

2014
2014

SAFCO enters into agreement with defi SOLUTIONS and launches an enhanced loan origination system.

2015
2015

SAFCO converts from S-Corp to LLC, adopting SAFCO as its operating name.

2021
2021

SAFCO is marketing and originating in 23 states.

2021

SAFCO announced new partnerships with Capital One and One William Street that provide a new warehouse credit facility in the amount of $204.5m