Fitch Rates Santander Drive Auto Receivables Trust 2014-1

NEW YORK--()--Fitch Ratings has assigned the following ratings to the Santander Drive Auto Receivables Trust 2014-1 notes:

--$334,000,000 class A-1 notes 'F1+sf';

--$346,000,000 class A-2A notes 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable;

--$160,000,000 class A-2B notes 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable;

--$139,100,000 class A-3 notes 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable;

--$207,310,000 class B notes 'AAsf'; Outlook Stable;

--$209,930,000 class C notes 'Asf'; Outlook Stable;

--$103,660,000 class D notes 'BBBsf'; Outlook Stable;

--$89,720,000 class E notes 'BBsf'; Outlook Stable.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

Weaker Credit Quality: 2014-1 is backed by marginally weaker collateral versus prior 2013 pools and non-SCUSA collateral totals 8.4%. The pool exhibits modestly weaker credit scores versus 2013-5, an increase in loans with terms of 60+ months (89.8%) - the highest level to date, a higher weighted average (WA) loan-to-value (LTV), lower new vehicles (34.4%), and more trucks/SUVs (43.8%).

Adequate Credit Enhancement: The cash flow distribution is a sequential pay structure. Initial hard credit enhancement (CE) is unchanged from 2013-5.

Stable Portfolio/Securitization Performance: Performance of SCUSA's portfolio and 2010-2012 securitizations has been strong with low losses, supported by the economic rebound, and strong used vehicle values. However, recent 2013 portfolio and securitization losses have risen and are tracking slightly above the 2012 vintage, driven by marginally weaker collateral underwritten combined with lower recoveries as used vehicle values have softened.

Stable Corporate Health: SCUSA recorded solid financial results recently and has been profitable since 2007. Fitch rates Santander, majority owner of SCUSA, 'BBB+/F2' with a Stable Rating Outlook.

Consistent Origination/Underwriting/Servicing: SCUSA demonstrates adequate abilities as originator, underwriter, and servicer, as evidenced by historical portfolio delinquency, loss experience, and securitization performance.

Legal Structure Integrity: The legal structure of the transaction should provide that a bankruptcy of SCUSA would not impair the timeliness of payments on the securities.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

Unanticipated increases in the frequency of defaults and loss severity on defaulted receivables could produce loss levels higher than the base case and could result in potential rating actions on the notes. Fitch evaluated the sensitivity of the ratings assigned to SDART 2014-1 to increased credit losses over the life of the transaction. Fitch's analysis found that the transaction displays some sensitivity to increased defaults and credit losses, showing a potential downgrade of one or two categories under Fitch's moderate (1.5x base case loss) scenario, especially for the subordinate bonds. The notes could experience downgrades of up to three or more rating categories, under Fitch's severe (2.5x base case loss) scenario.

Key Rating Drivers and Rating Sensitivities are further described in the accompanying presale report.

The presale report is available to all investors on Fitch's website at 'www.fitchratings.com'. For more information about Fitch's comprehensive subscription service Fitch Research, which includes all presale reports, surveillance, and credit reports on more than 20 asset classes, contact product sales at +1-212-908-0800 or at 'webmaster@fitchratings.com'.

Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

--'Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria' (May 24, 2013);

--'Rating Criteria for U.S. Auto Loan ABS' (April 10, 2013);

--'Criteria for Interest Rate Stresses in Structured Finance Transactions' (Jan. 25, 2013);

--' Santander Drive Auto Receivables Trust 2014-1' (Jan. 6, 2014);

--' Santander Drive Auto Receivables Trust 2014-1' (Jan. 6, 2014);

--'Structured Finance Tranche Thickness Metrics' (July 29, 2011).

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=708661

Rating Criteria for U.S. Auto Loan ABS

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=704137

Criteria for Interest Rate Stresses in Structured Finance Transactions

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=695535

Santander Drive Auto Receivables Trust 2014-1 (US ABS)

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=728699

Santander Drive Auto Receivables Trust 2014-1 -- Appendix

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=728706

Structured Finance Tranche Thickness Metrics

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=646951

Additional Disclosure

Solicitation Status

http://www.fitchratings.com/gws/en/disclosure/solicitation?pr_id=814867

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Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Primary Analyst
Eugene Kushnir, +1 212-908-0830
Associate Director
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
One State Street Plaza
New York, NY 10004
or
Secondary Analyst
Khadija Mediouri, +1 212-908-0109
Analyst
or
Committee Chairperson
Bradley Sohl, +1 212-908-0792
Senior Director
or
Media Relations, New York
Sandro Scenga, +1 212-908-0278
sandro.scenga@fitchratings.com

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Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Primary Analyst
Eugene Kushnir, +1 212-908-0830
Associate Director
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
One State Street Plaza
New York, NY 10004
or
Secondary Analyst
Khadija Mediouri, +1 212-908-0109
Analyst
or
Committee Chairperson
Bradley Sohl, +1 212-908-0792
Senior Director
or
Media Relations, New York
Sandro Scenga, +1 212-908-0278
sandro.scenga@fitchratings.com