Fresh off the news that Chrysler financial will no longer play the leasing game comes word that Ford took a $2.1B charge in the second quarter to offset expected losses from truck and SUV leases. High gas prices have put a huge dent in the truck and SUV market, so when customers turn in their vehicles, their residual value is lower than originally thought and Ford Credit ends up paying the difference. The trucks are fetching less at auction and on dealership used car lots, leaving thousands of dollars that need to be paid by Ford Credit. Ford is also faced with spending more on incentives to subsidize the monthly payments for its truck fleet. Ford's credit arm lost $1.4B in the second quarter, as repossessions and loan defaults also rose due to poor economic conditions. Despite Ford Credit's struggles, the Blue Oval has not said it will discontinue offering leases, which make up 20% of Ford's overall sales, though we've heard some very unsubstantiated rumors that an announcement similar to Chrysler's may come tomorrow.
[Source: Automotive News - subs. req'd, Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty]