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GM May Return to Leasing

July 30, 2009

DETROIT - General Motors, which last year abandoned the practice of leasing vehicles as resale values fell, plans to restart some leasing in August, according to Bloomberg.

GM Spokesman Pete Ternes said July 28 that no decision has been made on the size of the leasing program or which models will be covered. But Mark LaNeve, vice president of U.S. sales, told analysts on July 1 that GM would like to reenter the leasing business "in the critical segments such as luxury."

LaNeve said he believes GM lost sales as a result of not offering leasing, especially in the case of luxury autos and among buyers in the northeastern U.S. GM's return to leasing, however, probably won't ever reach the same levels as previously, Pete Ternes, a GM spokesman, said.

Decisions on the models to be covered and the size of a renewed leasing program haven't been reached, Ternes said July 28.

More than 25 percent of GM's U.S. sales in the first half of 2008 came from leasing. Michigan independent auto analyst Erich Merkle said leasing helps sales of more-expensive models, making it easier to get to the end goal of the sale of the vehicle.



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