Big discounts. Six- or seven-year loans, in some cases to buyers who would have been turned down in the past.
As the auto industry strives to sustain its post-recession comeback, car companies are resorting to tactics that some experts warn will lead to trouble down the road.
Vehicle discounts have risen 5.5 percent from a year ago. More than a quarter of new buyers are choosing to lease, a historically high percentage. Auto company lending arms are making more loans to people with low credit scores. The industry is adding factory capacity. And the average price of a car keeps rising, forcing some customers to borrow for longer terms to keep payments down.