The zero-interest auto loan era ends


Soaring interest rates are leading auto lenders to retreat from the 0% financing offers that have been a mainstay of dealer showrooms for the past decade. Cheap financing has long buttressed auto industry sales, ensuring monthly payments remained relatively affordable and luring many used-car market buyers, where lending rates are typically higher. But as rates have risen, the cost to lenders has also increased, pinching profits for car makers that finance vehicles through their lending arms. With auto sales now in decline, companies are leaning on different types of sale incentives, including cash rebates and discount lease rates.

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