Hyundai, Subaru lead lease search gains in Q4


CINCINNATI - 

When it comes to lease search activity in the fourth quarter, Hyundai and Subaru showed the most growth, according to Swapalease.com, with GMC highlighting activity for the domestics.

Searches for Hyundai on the car lease marketplace website were up 25 percent from the third quarter, while Subaru’s traffic was up 15 percent.

GMC, with a 6-percent hike in search activity, was the lone domestic brand to show an increase.

Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz (up 3 percent) and Audi (up 2 percent) were the two European brands showing an increase.

Overall, Swapalease said in its quarterly lease trends report: “The additional brands that saw declines suffered from a seasonal pinch as many consumers were also focused on holiday spending, in addition to vehicle shopping.”

Compared to Q4 2015, Subaru topped the list (up 21 percent), with Hyundai in second (up 17 percent).

GMC (up 15 percent) was third, with Chevrolet and Audi both up 11 percent. Mercedes-Benz showed no change, but the remainder of the brands were down.

As for the share of overall market activity on the site, BMW remains in first at 12 percent, despite dipping from 15 percent in the prior quarter. Next up is Mercedes-Benz (11 percent), followed by Lexus (10 percent).

Ford leads the domestics at 9 percent. 

Small cars accounted for 8.2 percent of cars being leased (up from 5.9 percent in Q3), midsize cars accounted for 16.8 percent (up from 14.9 percent). Meanwhile,12.2 percent were leasing full-size cars, down from 12.6 percent in Q3.

Sports cars accounted for 5.3 percent of leases, same as Q3.

SUV share dipped from 16.6 percent to 13.9 percent, while crossover share increased from 2.7 percent to 4.2 percent.  Truck share fell from 4.4 percent to 2.0 percent.

Average monthly payments were at $435.35, compared to $445.85 in the prior quarter.  

In an interview for a separate story, Swapalease executive vice president Scot Hall discussed payment a bit.

“A quick rule of thumb is every $1,000 that’s put down toward a 36-month lease changes that payment about $30,” he said. “I think it’s a best leasing practice and would be Swapalease’s recommendation to put down as little money down on a lease as possible.

“Granted that means you’ll have a higher monthly payment if a down payment is being requested. But I think most people from a budgeting standpoint — whether they have that cash in their back pocket or not — would be better off keeping $1,000 in the bank longer and adjusting to an additional $30 a month in terms of a monthly budget,” Hall said. “I just think it’s a better safety net for consumers to have.”

Staff Writer Nick Zulovich contributed to this story. 

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