MIAMI – In much the same way a cell phone user switches to a newer version with upgraded features before completing the two-year contract, drivers and car enthusiasts are starting to feel the same itch, LeaseTrader.com has found. LeaseTrader.com says its lease-escape rate for this reason has jumped 37.6% since 2009. During the previous five-year period from 2004-09 this pool of people grew a tepid 12.3%.
“Consumer electronics is an area that’s so important to people today – even non-techies,” said Doug Newcomb, senior editor of technology for Edmunds.com. “The average consumer wants to enjoy the same type of technology features in their car as in their home or smartphone.”
Prior to 2009, the vast majority of drivers using LeaseTrader.com as a way to change vehicles because of technology features resided primarily among higher-end luxury and European vehicle leases. 85.3% of all trading activity took place among BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Infiniti and Lexus. Since 2009 that population has changed drastically, with Ford (16.2%) and GM (11.1%) stealing a much larger share within the category combining for 27.3% of trades.
A lot of the technology being traded for goes well beyond 9-11 assistance, made popular by GM and OnStar. Today, voice-recognition technology, the ability to synch a smart phone with a vehicle, social media capabilities, and local entertainment and dining searches are all popular technology sought out by the leasing crowd. What’s more, these drivers are enjoying better access to vehicle diagnostics, as well as the ability to get stock quotes, movie times and sports scores at their fingertips or through voice command.
“What you’re seeing today is the merging of an explosion in appetite between some very exciting new technology and the consumer’s ability to change their vehicle more frequently,” said Sergio Stiberman, CEO and founder of LeaseTrader.com.
Top cars on LeaseTrader.com for technology trades:
- BMW 5 Series
- Mercedes C Class
- BMW 3 Series
- Ford Edge
- Lincoln MKZ
- Chevy Cruze
- Lexus GS
- Audi A6
- Infiniti G37