Leasing is declining as the Big 3 continue to pump most of their incentive dollars into summer blowout sales.
About one of every seven new vehicles General Motors sold in the United States in June was on a lease contract, says Paul Ballew, GM's executive director of market and industry analysis. That rate compared with one of five in May and "the high teens" in June 2004, Ballew says.
GM's lease rate fell further in July to about 12 percent, adds a spokeswoman. The company has offered no special lease deals during its "Employee Discount for Everyone" program.
"Our lease penetration went down significantly with this program," he says. "So that is a plus on used-vehicle prices going out into the future."
Fewer leased vehicles now mean fewer used vehicles returning to the marketplace when those leases expire, Ballew explains. That should strengthen prices and residual values, he says.