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GM Reduces Leases Except for Cadillac and Saab

September 8, 2008

DETROIT -- While automakers have cut back on lease incentives, General Motors Corp., at least this month, is not doing that with Cadillac, reported the Detroit Free Press.

GM informed Cadillac dealers on Sept. 5 of new lease incentives, through its GMAC financing arm, on 2009 Cadillacs, as well as the Saab 9-7X SUV, to last through Sept. 30. That makes the Cadillac lineup and one Saab model GM's only vehicles in the United States with discounted leases through GMAC, said GM spokesman John McDonald.

GM, which still is scaling back on its leasing incentives, is singling out Cadillac and Saab as a competitive move because leasing tends to be popular in luxury segments.

In August, 40 percent of the vehicle transactions for luxury brands were leases, according to J.D. Power and Associates. For Cadillac, 11.5 percent of transactions were leases last month.

The new Cadillac deals came as a pleasant surprise to Crestview Cadillac in Rochester, which sent an e-mail to as many as 4,000 customers on Sept. 4 -- less than a day before GM distributed its new Cadillac leasing incentives -- saying GMAC would stop leasing vehicles on Sept. 5 at 6 p.m.

That's not true, says GMAC.

GM is cutting back on lease incentives through GMAC. But GM's financing arm, which is 51 percent owned by Cerberus Capital Management, is not done leasing, said GMAC spokesman Mike Stoller.

"Auto financing and leasing continue to be part of what we do at GMAC," he said. "There are no plans to eliminate that."

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