GM Plans Lease Tweaks To Encourage Consumers To Buy What They Can AffordS

Automotive News reports GM sales chief Mark LaNeve sent a letter to dealers outlining the company's plans to adjust its leasing strategy. GM's letter follows a move last week on leases by Chrysler. While the company won't be going down the same route, having their captive finance entity ditch leasing altogether, they're expected to tweak the terms on certain vehicles to make leases more expensive, in an effort to make buying more attractive. In LaNeve's words, "current financial pressures will continue to affect our perspective on leasing." But how will it affect consumers' perspectives on leasing?

Jalopnik Snap Judgment: How the loss of leasing business affects auto sales remains to be seen, but if automakers are getting clobbered on the residuals, taking a loss on each lease just to bump the sales tally doesn't make much sense either. The recent leasing changes may actually be an example of the forward thinking we tend to criticize our American automakers for not implementing often enough. If, at the same time, they offer lower-interest financing and continue to provide cash-back incentives, it could force consumers into smaller new cars or purchasing used cars, since the option of leasing more car than they could buy will no longer be available. [Automotive News (Sub. Req.)]