Operational leasing market levels are the same as when the year started with 41.595 units, just 1 percent higher than during the same period last year, Daniel Ivan, chairman of ASLO (the Association of Operational Leasing Companies), stated at a press conference in a presentation of market financial results for the third quarter. “The stagnation is primarily due to a harsh economic environment that generated another decrease in the car market, and to legislative changes that have caused such weak performances. However, I am optimistic that the operational leasing market is headed in a positive direction, as it has already been crystalized by a culture that focuses on this type of services,” Ivan said further. He estimated a total of 42,000 cars for the end of the year, slightly on the rise compared to 2012. One of the significant achievements that followed grueling negotiations was in June 2013, when the Association managed to exempt operational leasing companies from the limitation on deductibility by depreciation. This allowed for leasing installment prices for cars not to be raised by a monthly depreciation of RON 1,500. In turn, Bogdan Apahidean, CEO LeasePlan, said he does not want to make predictions for 2014 because of upcoming elections and the constant unpleasant legislative surprises. “But we are expecting stagnation for next year, as well, or a very slight 0.5 percent increase; that is, if the economy does not undergo major changes,” he explained.