Leasing rates are falling across the industry during the unfolding coronavirus crisis as automakers have ramped up new incentive programs aimed at getting customers to purchase vehicles.
Competition for returning lease customers “will be fierce,” said Patrick Roosenberg, director of auto finance at J.D. Power. About 1.8 million consumers have been scheduled to return their leased vehicles between March and July, according to the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. End of Lease Satisfaction Study.
“Aggressive retail programs, some of which have already launched with 0 percent financing and deferred payments up to 120 days on extended term loans, will create more obstacles for lease retention,” Roosenberg said in a statement.
Leases accounted for 31 percent of new vehicles retailed in 2019, according to the study. That compares with 20 percent of buyers opting for leases during the week ended March 29, J.D. Power reported Wednesday. In addition to the new incentives to purchase, the change was…