SUBPRIME SPUR - Soaring new-vehicle prices - and consumer debt - are driving lessors into subprime leasing, said Stuart Angert, co-CEO for Remarketing Services of America, an Amherst, N.Y., lessor.
In 1996, it took 30.6 weeks of income for a family to cover the price of a new car, compared with 17 weeks in 1974, Angert told last month's convention of the National Vehicle Leasing Association.
The income spread between new- and used-car buyers doubled from 1976 and 1996, from 20 percent to 40 percent, he said. Consumer debt - excluding mortgage - exceeds savings for 49 percent of the population, and 40 percent of Americans have no emergency funds. About 52 percent of borrowers have blemished credit histories.