Sales of new cars have been reaching all-time highs and part of the reason comes down leases. The Detroit News reports that nearly one in three vehicles built for the U.S. is leased. Data from Edmunds shows 2.2 million vehicles were leased in the first half of 2016. Not only is this up 13 percent from the same time year, it is double the volume from 2011. Steven Szakaly, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association tells the Detroit News there is plenty of space for more leases.
“I think this could easily be 40 percent of the market,” said Sazkaly.
Why have leases become popular? It comes down to the monthly payment. Compared with payments for auto loans, lease payments are on average 23 percent less. Leasing is also a popular option for younger folks. Jessica Caldwell, analyst for Edmunds says the reason is leasing is like a cell phone contract; low monthly payments and knowing that you can get into a new car in a few years.
But while leasing is helping new car sales, some analysts are worried this could cause used car prices to go down. Why? A glut of turned in leased vehicles will flood the used car market, causing prices to be slashed to move metal.
“They’ll swamp the market, they’ll force residuals down,” said Sean McAlinden, chief economist for the Center for Automotive Research.
The increase in leasing is already having an effect on used car values. Tom Webb, chief economist for Cox Automotive Inc., said 2.55 million vehicles came off lease last year. That number will increase to 3.1 million this year. Automakers are now figuring out ways to sell this glut of vehicles while keeping values up.
Source: The Detroit News