Chrysler Group LLC today announced it would offer a leasing option starting tomorrow for U.S. customers on all 2010 model year Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles through Chrysler’s preferred lender, GMAC Financial Services.
Year-to-date, Group sales are of -40% as the one-two punch of impending bankruptcy and a gas guzzling product line combined to knock the company’s vehicles off the consideration list of the few shoppers that were in the marketplace.
Like other automakers, Chrysler, it appears, was caught short with an inadequate supply of small cars — or more troubling for its new taxpayer owners, lack of consumer demand for the cars it has and will have for the next year or two — just as demand for fuel efficient cars surged due to federal government financed incentives under the CARS program, aka Clunkers.
GMAC re-initiated leasing as a financing option at General Motors in early August in support of a lease promotion on select GM models, along with competitive standard rates on all new GM vehicles.
“ 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, President and Chief Executive Officer–Chrysler Brand and Lead Executive for the Sales Organization, Chrysler Group LLC. “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.”
For car shoppers looking for lower payments – long the allure of leasing – the new financing programs at both Chrysler and GM may not be of help.