The old saying goes, "?Desperate times call for desperate measures', and it looks as though Chrysler will be heeding to that mantra. Chrysler Financial - the automaker's financial arm - is planning to exit the leasing business, effective August 1st.

The news comes as most automakers are being hit with huge losses due to the reduction in residual value of leased vehicles. Ford has already taken a $2.1 billion hit from lowered residual values this year, and Honda expects the same problem to cost it $231.8 million through March 2009.

Although the move should save the automaker a significant sum on paper, some Chrysler dealers are baffled by the announcement. "I really don't see how they can be competitive at all in the marketplace with this kind of action," Earl Hesterberg, chairman of Group 1 Automotive Inc., the owner of eight Chrysler dealerships, told Automotive News. "I have no idea how they can be competitive without any leasing at all."