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Chrysler to make leases easier

by David Zatz on

Following Sergio Marchionne’s stated belief that financing should be kept separate from auto production, Chrysler has signed an agreement to have U.S. Bank provide leases to customers. The move comes after GM started an acquisition of a subprime lender to ease purchases for their own customers and, pundits say, to replace GMAC as an internal lending operation.

The U.S. Bank deal was announced not to the press, but to dealers, via e-mail, according to an article in the Detroit News. The bank will provide Chrysler buyers with “special lease rates and residuals” as of now.

Ally Bank, the former GMAC, will remain Chrysler’s “preferred lender.” While Ally recently dropped its minimum FICO score for leases from 660 to 620, leasing remains below normal levels for Chrysler; it accounted for 22% of new vehicles just four years ago, and is now around 5% of (lower) sales.

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