(photo: Glenn Fawcett/Baltimore Sun)
Several auto manufacturers and banking companies have announced that they would either increase prices or leave the car leasing market altogether, according to the Associated Press.
General Motors bounced yesterday and Chrysler announced its decision to stop leases last week. Ford Motor Co. said it would raise prices on SUV and truck leases.
Meanwhile, Wells Fargo Auto Finance stopped accepting lease applications from all automakers earlier this month. Chase Auto Finance said it would only finance Subaru, not Chrysler vehicles.
According to Consumer Reports' car blog, lease contracts are based on predictions of the value of the vehicle at the end of the agreement. And the resale value of SUVs and other gas guzzlers has plummeted thanks to fuel prices.
What does this mean for consumers?
Fewer financing options might mean that more consumers choose pricey car loans to buy vehicles, CR predicts.
But the LAT thinks that some of the bigger banks leaving the business might entice smaller operations to get into the leasing game: