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CINCINNATI — Pushed by increased leasing activity among the same domestic automakers that got out of the segment in fall 2008, interestingly enough, the overall lease penetration rate for this year is projected to reach between 18 and 25 percent.

In fact, some market segments can expect to see rates up to 40 percent, according to Swapalease.com.

"These same lessors moved back into leasing in late 2009 and are now offering more incentives and subsidized residuals ultimately making leases more attractive for consumers," Richard Joseph, of the Joseph Auto Group and president of Swapalease.com lease transfer service, said regarding domestic OEMs that left leasing in fall 2008 but are now at the forefront of the increase.

Swapalease.com officials said the Web site's search data reflects this upswing that the market has seen regarding consumer interest in leasing.

The company noted that there has been "threefold increase" in consumer searches versus the year-ago period.

"This increase may reflect a change in consumer behavior due to the strong value proposition created by taking over a lease as the economy emerges from recession," officials noted.

"Swapalease.com has created an established reputation for having an attractive inventory of leases available," they added. "Consumers have found that transferring a lease through Swapalease.com is a financial win for both the individual exiting their lease as well as for the one taking it over." 

There were some automakers that have seen particular strong leasing increases. In particular, searches for Toyota — even with the recent recalls — have been "above average," officials noted.