Automobile leasing has traditionally been used by high end automakers as a way of making their vehicles more accessible for consumers. High used car prices, low interest rates and Americans’ tendency to buy vehicles based on monthly payments, now has automakers using the strategy to sell more moderately priced vehicles as well. This selling tactic has resulted in strong sales with leases accounting for approximately 26 percent of new vehicles purchased, the highest it has been since 2007.
General Motors, the nation’s largest automaker, said that its August sales rose 14.7 percent, its strongest month since September 2008. Ford Motor Co., who took a more conservative approach to leasing, posted a rise of only 12 percent, and Chrysler Group, 11.5 percent. For all three automobile manufacturing companies, the increases were led by a mix of small and midsize cars and trucks.