Chrysler to Resume Leasing

Sep 18, 2009
After a hiatus of more than a year, Chrysler is ready to resume leasing vehicles starting with the 2010 model year.

“We are pleased to re-enter the leasing market so we can offer customers the opportunity to lease vehicles at rates competitive with the marketplace,” said Peter Fong, head of sales and chief executive of the Chrysler car brand. “Our ability to offer additional financing options will benefit consumers who have long been fans of leasing and appreciate the flexibility this financing option gives them.”

Chrysler Financial stopped offering leases in August 2008 due to tight credit markets and heavy losses on existing SUV leases caused by a decline in popularity.  The increased difficulty of leasing cars led to lower sales for Chrysler. Leasing is a popular method of acquiring a vehicle because it allows consumers to make lower monthly payments despite being less cost-effective in the long term.

Leasing was never a huge part of Chrysler’s business, but generally made up 10% to 15% of the company’s sales, said Jesse Toprak, a sales analyst for the auto pricing site Truecar.com.

“We have seen some of those customers go to other manufacturers because of Chrysler not offering leasing,” he said.

Former GM financing arm GMAC Financing Services will now be handling leasing services for Chrysler.  GM has also just recently begun offering leasing after dropping out last year for practical purposes during its bankruptcy.

Leasing will be available on all 2010 Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge vehicles.