News Brief: March 15, 2012


Here's what we have our eye on today:

  • To stem declining sales, the once-burgeoning Buick will start offering aggressive leasing and service incentives for its 2012 lineup, according to Automotive News. The program includes a 24-month lease program, with $0 down; typically, Buick offers 36- to 39-month leases. In addition to the short-term lease, the program also includes free OnStar, satellite radio, oil changes and tire rotations for the lease's duration. Typically, free satellite radio subscriptions expire in the first three months of ownership, and complementary OnStar service ends after six months. Under the incentive plan, a 2012 Buick LaCrosse eAssist, with a power lumbar and remote starter, would cost $399 a month for 24 months, with $0 down. Currently, 24% of Buicks are leased, while the average luxury carmaker sees lease penetrations that typically exceed 50%, says Automotive News. Buick sales have declined over the past five months, which is currently the worst streak in the industry.
  • GM's former captive lending company, Ally Financial (formerly GMAC), has failed the Federal Reserve's latest round of “stress” testing, according to the Detroit Free Press. The stress test simulates another large recession — in this case, 13% unemployment and a 21% drop in housing prices — and under the scenario, Ally would not have sufficient capital to sustain itself. Ally is one of the biggest auto lenders in America, serving some 15 million car customers,. It's the preferred lender for new GM and Chrysler vehicles. The U.S. government currently owns about 74% of Ally and has invested $17.2 billion in propping up the institution.
  • Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne received nearly $19 million in stocks and compensation last year from Fiat SpA, according to Bloomberg News. Marchionne's salary is in line with other CEOs in the industry, says the newswire. As Chrysler's CEO, Marchionne received a grand total of $0 in compensation from the carmaker in 2011.


Anonymous Coward

$399/month isn't that great of a lease deal. I would expect a model with V6 and leather instead of a base model at that price.


@Anonymous Coward - If you actually look at what is being offered for that price, it's the Lacrosse Convenience Group FWD which includes the choice of the E-Assist 4 Cylinder or the 3.6L SIDI v6 at no additional cost. The only thing you're missing out on is the leather, which most people can get over.

While 399 a month for a lease on this car isn't an amazing price, it's still fairly reasonable for a 24-month lease considering it's a 32,000 dollar car.

Anonymous Coward

You can lease an Accord EX-L V6 with zero down for less than that, which is much more powerful and includes leather and a sunroof.


Then lease it.

Young Punk

I've been to two Buick dealers, and both treated me horribly...apparently, they don't want 'young punks' (their words not mine) to drive the Regal GS...I'm in my mid-30's with an income that would suggest a more premium car than Buick, but don't tell that to their washed-up sales staff...good luck improving your sales Buick.

Derrick G

I went to the Buick site and it says the lease is for the eAssist only. The site, by the way, is awful. I had to come here to see what the actual power is if you choose the V6 (the site gives the ratings for the eAssist I4). But to make it clear, if you ignore price and do choose the Buick with the V6, it has a HP advantage over the Honda V6 of over 30 HP.

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