Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today, we have reports from Yahoo! Motoramic, Salon and Quartz.
It's actually a more complex answer than you think.
Prior to the advent of modern safety regulations in the 1970s, Detroit offered convertible variations of most mainstream and luxury models. Lee Iacocca used convertibles as a selling point for his revival of Chrysler in the 1980s, and even at the turn of the 21st century, domestic automakers showed off several concept soft-tops. Yet with the end of Chrysler 200 convertible production earlier this year, if you want a new convertible from a traditional Detroit brand, but you don't want a Mustang, Camaro or Corvette, you're out of luck.
Ford's Service Department was serious business. And scary business.
The more Edsel learned about Harry Bennett, the more he realized the kind of things of which the Little Man in Henry's Basement was capable. Once, when a hoodlum threatened Henry II, Bennett said he would handle it. "Later on," remembered Edsel's youngest, William, "the guy was found floating face down in the river."
You'll hear from both sides on the leasing vs. buying debate. But this is why leasing is becoming more popular.
It's not just the proportions; the kinds of cars being leased are also changing. Leasing has long played a large role in the US market for luxury vehicles, but in recent years it's gained traction for cheaper cars.
For instance, back in 2002, the share of new Ford, GM, Hyundai and Kia cars that were leased rather than bought was negligible. Now it's 20% or more, according to J.D. Power & Associates data, and other manufacturers of mass-market cars have seen increases in leasing too.
Photo credit: D. Miller