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UPDATE 1-Uber considering sale of U.S. car-leasing business -source

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Aug 8 (Reuters) - Ride-hailing company Uber is evaluating options for its capital-intensive U.S. car-leasing business, including a sale of the unit, a source familiar with the matter said.

The Xchange Leasing business, which has about 40,000 vehicles and 14 showrooms in the United States, has attracted interest from some buyers who are considering buying it outright, according to the source.

Other options include a partnership or winding down the unit by reducing its presence in a number of cities that may lead to lay offs, the person said.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Tuesday that as many as 500 jobs could be affected by the program, representing about 3 percent of Uber's 15,000-employee staff. (http://on.wsj.com/2vgn7gQ)

The plan comes after Uber executives were informed that losses were $9,000 per car on average, steeply above the previous estimates of around $500 per car, according to the report.

Earlier this month, the Journal reported that Uber's Singapore unit knowingly rented its drivers defective cars that were at risk of catching fire. (Additional reporting by Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Anil D'Silva)