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In late July 2008, Chrysler announced that it would stop leasing vehicles effective August 1. The news helped exasperate the decline of Chrysler group vehicle sales while giving customers fewer options for getting into a new vehicle. After leasing was discontinued, Chrysler's market share dropped from 11.3% to 9.2%. The decline came in part because of Chrysler's very public bankruptcy proceedings and its lackluster product lineup, but there is little doubt that the end of vehicle leasing was also a major contributor to the automaker's precipitous decline.

In an effort to get back on the right track, Automotive News is reporting that dealer sources say leasing could return to the Pentastar as soon as September 18. Chrysler is reportedly waiting until after next Tuesday to make an announcement so it can look over residual value data from the Automotive Lease Guide before making a final decision. Chrysler, which uses GMAC as its finance arm, could follow General Motors' lead and offer leasing only on select vehicles. AN estimates that the Dodge Ram, Journey, Nitro and Grand Caravan, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Chrysler Town & Country could be among the vehicles ready for lease duty.

[Source: Automotive News]

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