GM Financial: leasing won’t return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023

“I think the trough we hit in lease sales mix in mid-’22 is the low point,” he said. “I think you will see it go up from here, but I wouldn’t expect it to reach historical levels anytime in ’23.”

GM Financial’s outlook on leasing largely aligns with experts’ view of the broader industry. Analysts say leasing’s share of sales this year is forecast to rise from what Cox Automotive called at least a 10-year low in 2022, but not to where it was in 2019. The pandemic and subsequent supply chain bottlenecks reduced inventories, prompting automakers to scale back incentives amid elevated pricing and demand.

“Leasing is down for everybody,” said Melinda Zabritski, Experian’s senior director of automotive financial solutions.

Last year, 17 percent of new vehicles retailed were leased, down roughly 10 percentage points from 2020, Experian data shows. First-quarter data suggests the figure still is under 20 percent, Zabritski said.

With rising interest rates, “I think consumers are probably hungry for leasing, if they’re available, just from the pure affordability aspect of it,” she said.

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