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.