Pent up demand in Europe has been pushing up local car sales. In order to keep up with demand, Europeans are importing cars that are coming off of leases in America. The practice has been popular in recent years with brands such as Honda and Ford.
According to Swapalease.com, the exporting practice is currently on the rise with entry-level luxury cars within brands such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Land Rover, as well as with domestic brands such as Ford and Chevrolet, which are popular in overseas markets.
"As evidenced by the growing U.S.-produced inventory being shipped elsewhere, the North American auto industry is positioning itself to participate in the broader global competitive landscape," said Scot Hall, Executive Vice President of Swapalease.com. "Increasing demand across the oceans and more domestic supply could mean this activity continues to expand in the near term."
The top five countries that are importing leased cars for the purpose of selling are France, Spain, Italy, Sweden and China. If you're turning in a lease of a car that is popular abroad, it's quite possible that the car will ultimately end up in one of those foreign markets.
What this means for you
There are a couple of ways that this demand for American cars overseas can affect you as a consumer. The first is that it may allow you to get out of a lease quicker, since dealers are chomping at the bit to send cars abroad.
"Assuming that this overseas activity continues to grow, this will ultimately make it easier for people to do [lease] transfers...," Hall explained. "As more of these leases are taken over and then shipped overseas, that will increase the demand for these leases..., benefitting anyone looking to escape their lease."
It also also means that it could end up being cheaper for consumers to lease.
"Because these leases will end up in other countries, this will alleviate some of the volume pressure that will continue to build with lease expirations," said Hall. "As supply remains in check, so will residuals, which will ultimately help to keep monthly payments down on new leases written at the dealership."