CINCINNATI, Ohio — The first-quarter lease trends report from Swapalease.com shows that Volkswagen lease search traffic was up 2% compared to the previous quarter, a sign the brand continues to mend fences among people shopping for a lease. Hyundai saw the largest gain in search traffic during the quarter (16%), followed by Subaru (12%).
Among domestic brands, Cadillac saw the biggest jump in the quarter for search traffic (3%), with Buick and GMC both seeing 2%. Chevrolet was down (-4%), as was Ford (-5%) and Chrysler (-7%). For European brands, Audi saw the biggest gain in the quarter at 5%, and BMW saw the largest drop at -6%.
Mercedes-Benz held onto its position as the largest share of overall traffic (10%), with BMW and Lexus each at 9% of overall traffic. Cadillac saw the largest increase in share of traffic, jumping from 4% in the fourth quarter to 7% in the first quarter. Volkswagen, still recovering from its diesel scandal, rose from 2% of traffic in the fourth quarter to 4% in the first quarter.
The average monthly payment on a lease was registered at $436.35 (up by $1 from Q4), with Mercedes-Benz holding the most expensive monthly payment at $704.65. Toyota holds the least expensive monthly payment during the fourth quarter at $348.34.
In the first quarter, men listed their vehicles with an average incentive of $578.13, and women listed with an incentive of $462.44. Incentives overall averaged $677.24, compared to a year ago when incentives registered $662.17.
“There remains plenty of strength in the lease market during the first quarter, and we believe this should persist through the remainder of the year,” said Scot Hall, executive vice president of Swapalease.com. “We are seeing data that suggests people are looking to exit their leases earlier in the life of the lease, which shows a healthy appetite to replace their lease with a different type of vehicle.”
To read the Q1 report in its entirety, click here.