Afraid that Chrysler Financial's recent decision to suspend leasing would result in an influx of profit-draining lease contracts, the Detroit News reports Chase Financial will no longer offer leases on Chrysler products. "Leasing is a small part of our portfolio and we intend to keep it that way," said Chase spokeswoman Mary Kay Bean. The decision is another blow to Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge dealers who have been hit with poor-selling vehicles and now a severe lack of low-cost financing options. So, if you're a Chrysler dealer, what do you do now?
Option One: Kick yourself. Chrysler flirts with bankruptcy at least once every decade, so what were you thinking not selling out when you had a chance? Did you really think it was going to be different this time? You have no one to blame for your declining profit margins but yourself. And possibly Dieter Zetsche.
Option Two: Line up alternative forms of financing. There's this guy we know named Tony. He lives down off Cass Avenue in Detroit, and he'll finance pretty much anything you want. Tony'd love to have the business, and the real advantage for dealerships is a significant reduction in paperwork. Cash payments only, please.
Option Three: Buy a pallet of Honda badges. Hondas still sell themselves, so pry all those cash-sapping Chrysler emblems off your lot full of Sebrings and slap the Golden H of Profit on with some emblem adhesive. Will some people know the difference? Sure, but the important thing is: Some people won't. While you're out there, you may as well make some of them VTECs and V12s, you know, for the kids.