General Motors Corp. is extending leases to customers who may not be able to trade-in for the new model they want because of the automaker's strike-related production shut-down.
Leases expiring during the strikes are being extended for up to six months at the same monthly payment rate, said spokesman Jim Kobus of General Motors Acceptance Corp., the automaker's financing subsidiary.The move may help GM keep customers who might otherwise go to competitors to lease or buy their next vehicle.
The extensions began shortly after GM assembly plants began to shut down last month because of parts shortages caused by United Auto Workers strikes at two parts plants in Flint, Mich.
The program is intended primarily for customers whose vehicle orders were postponed because of the shutdowns, but any GM customer who can't find the desired replacement vehicle will be considered for an extension, Kobus said.
The normal fee for lease extensions is being waived for customers who qualify.
GMAC also is encouraging GM workers who are on strike or laid off and having financial troubles to contact GMAC to make special payment arrangements for their vehicle leases, Kobus said.
The company is not advertising the program. Kobus said customers who have questions about extending their leases should contact their local GMAC office or GM dealer.
GMAC has more than 1 million outstanding vehicle leases and provides financing for the majority of leases by GM dealers.