Today Chrysler LLC and Chrysler Financial shared plans with our U.S. dealers to take advantage of developing trends in the economy and the car-buying environment by enhancing retail financing incentives and moving away from leasing.

The industry-wide economic conditions that made leasing popular in the past have changed, and the pendulum is swinging back in favor of purchasing and financing. Credit is tight and expensive, and residuals are unpredictable. These two factors have made leasing more expensive to the point of not being in our customers’ best interest. Effective August 1, Chrysler Financial will discontinue its lease product offering to focus its resources on retail installment loans. Chrysler's dealers can still pursue lease financing arrangements through other institutions.

Chrysler’s new incentive strategy will create retail finance deals with low payments, typically found only on lease deals. With these deals, customers can get low monthly payments, through Chrysler Financial, with the benefits of ownership. With this strategy, we look to attract more purchase-oriented customers, and shift our lease customers to purchasing and financing.

There will be no impact on customers who already are leasing Chrysler vehicles. Chrysler Financial will continue to support and service current Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge lease and balloon-contract holders.

Going forward, an example of our excellent financing deals includes 0 percent APR for 72 months on Chrysler Aspen, Dodge Durango and Ram, Jeep Commander and Grand Cherokee models.

The industry is changing rapidly, and Chrysler is moving quickly to be in position to take advantage of those changes.