GM Financial, the automaker’s captive finance arm, will stop end-of-lease purchases for non-GM dealers in order to prioritize participating GM dealers for access to vehicles reentering the market.
Per a recent report from Automotive News, the new change will take effect July 1st. In an email, a General Motors spokesperson confirmed that the primary motivator behind the change was the ongoing global microchip shortage. According to the spokesperson, the change is intended to “better support our GM dealers though the current economic environment and the challenges they’re encountering sourcing quality pre-owned vehicles.”
Customers will be notified in the next several weeks that the terms of their lease require that a lease purchase request be submitted “by contacting GM Financial Customer Experience or working with a participating GM dealership,” according to executive vice president of U.S. sales and credit at GM Financial, Joe Bartuch.
The new policy is expected to be in place through the 2021 calendar year, after which GM Financial may reevaluate its position.
In an interview with Automotive News, the dealer principal at Michigan group Todd Wenzel Automotive, Todd Wenzel, praised the move, saying that GM Financial “heard what the GM dealers wanted, and they reacted very quickly – within days from when the dealer council brought them this issue.”
Naturally, the move may conflict with the interests of non-GM dealers, but for participating GM dealers eager to purchase end-of-lease vehicles and shore up inventory, prioritization will likely be appreciated. Several other automakers have also prioritized their respective participating dealers as the global chip shortage has pushed the purchase of every leased vehicle returned.
“If you’re not a GM dealer, it might not be the best position,” Wenzel said. “But with inventory so tight on new and used, it’s a great move for the GM participating dealer.”