MORE LEASES - Lease penetration gained sharply in 1998 for Chrysler Financial Co., with 52 percent of retail leases financed by the captive finance company, vs. 39.7 percent in 1997, according to the finance arm. Chrysler Financial Co. used to outsource 'Gold Key' leases to GE Capital Auto Financial Services, but the captive took over that responsibility in 1998.
CASE DISMISSED - A federal judge in New Orleans dismissed nearly every part of a class-action suit against two captive finance companies. Ford Motor Credit Co. and Chrysler Financial Co. were charged with failing to disclose how they calculated premiums for credit life insurance. Judge Carl Barbier dismissed the case except for one borrower, who may pursue his individual truth-in-lending claim against Ford Credit.
CONTRACTS VIA WEB - Consumers shopping for cars on AUTOBYPC's Web site also can shop extended service contracts marketed by Warrantech Corp., thanks to a joint venture announced this month. AUTOBYPC Inc., of Long Beach, N.Y., refers consumers to participating dealerships. Warrantech, based in Stamford, Conn., administers and markets service contracts and aftermarket warranties on automobiles, recreational vehicles, appliances and consumer electronics.
APCO, HONDA RENEW AGREEMENT - Automobile Protection Corp. of Atlanta and American Honda Finance Corp. renewed their agreement for APCO to administer extended service contracts on non-Honda vehicles sold by Honda and Acura dealers. The relationship, which began in 1994, was renewed for three years.