FCA Canada returns to leasing


The last major volume holdout in the Canadian automotive market is getting back into leasing with word that FCA Canada has teamed up with SCI Lease Corp. to develop a national lease option.

The automaker, no doubt looking to build on its 71 consecutive months of year-over-year sales growth, is piloting the program now with seven dealerships in the Windsor and Essex County areas of southwestern Ontario.

The plan is to grow in in stages across all markets until the program is established nationally by the beginning of 2016.

“We developed a great relationship with SCI Lease Corp. and feel with their expertise it’s the right time to re-enter the leasing market,” Dave Buckingham, COO with FCA Canada.

“Our program is about affordability and offering customers exceptional value with a choice of payment options that makes sense to them.”

Published reports indicate the plan is to lease all nameplates under the FCA banner - Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat and Alfa Romeo.

“Leasing provides consumers and dealers with a great new addition to FCA Canada’s current financing options available in the marketplace,” explains SCI president Alan Bird.

“The SCI Lease Corp team is very pleased to be working with FCA Canada and their dealer network to provide consumers with a smart new option for acquiring their vehicles.”

FCA has not had a national captive leasing program since the credit crunch of 2009. The former Chrysler Financial Canada shuttered several offices around the country before eventually closing its book altogether. In late 2010, TD Bank purchased the former lending arm from Cerberus Capital Management for $6.3 billion. It completely took over the auto financing company in the spring of 2011 as TD Auto Finance.

While there has been regional leasing activity at certain FCA Canada dealerships through credit unions, there has been no substantial volume gained through leasing for the automaker in Canada for years.

Depending on the source, most analysts peg the leasing penetration of today’s market at between 22 and 25 per cent.

SCI Lease is an independent, Canadian-based national automotive leasing company and subsidiary of SCI Ltd., which does business as SCI MarketView.

RBC is a wholesale funder to SCI Lease.