On the heels of Ford Motor Credit’s $2.1 billion writedown of its leasing portfolio yesterday, today Chrysler Financial announced that it plans to stop offering leases in the U.S. effective Aug. 1.
Though it came a little sooner than I had expected, I can’t say that I was surprised. In fact, I wrote in this space yesterday that “the lease product may finally have met its demise.”
Sure, I didn’t think Chrysler would be the first one to make the move, but that leads me to think that Chrysler’s losses are even more severe than Ford’s.
The bottom line is clear: No matter how high-tech analytics becomes, financiers will have no way to accurately predict the cost of gas, consumer preferences, and the state of the economy years in advance.
So long, leasing.