• Mar 11, 2010
As Toyota's recall issues hit a fevered pitch over the past few months, customer confidence faltered and sales predictably suffered. We were wondering how Toyota would react to the comparative dearth of showroom traffic, and the answer was to take a page out of the domestic's tattered handbook: big-time incentives.

On March 1, Toyota announced zero percent financing, subsidized leases and free maintenance for two years, and the early results appear to be extremely favorable. Automotive News reports that analysts are seeing big-time gains for the Japanese automaker, with evidence that sales are up 50 percent so far for the month. A 50 percent sales increase for the month would more than wipe out Toyota's depressing January and February, but analysts like Edmund's Jessica Caldwell reportedly feel sales will level out to a predicted 30 percent rise by March 31. "Incentives work best in the early going, but they start to peter out as the month goes along."

So does news of a Toyota sales increase means that Americans are tuning out the recent influx of bad news including a pair of reported runaway Prius hybrids in the interest of saving money? AN reports that analysts like Caldwell and George Magliano at IHS Global Insight feel Toyota loyalists are jumping at the company's big-time incentives, and the brand will have to try new things to attract new customers in the months ahead. That may be true, but we're thinking Toyota must be more than a bit relieved that customers are coming back to showrooms, at least for now.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req. | Image: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images]


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  • 53 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      yeehaw, up 30% after being down 40% the year before :tard:
      • 4 Years Ago
      People are forgetting that Toyota's quality and reliability problems go far beyond the unintended acceleration debacle.

      Toyota's quality problems are likely only going to get worse as they continue their relentless decontenting of their vehicles and leaning on suppliers to cut costs to offset the loss of profits from an increasingly unfavorable yen-dollar exchange rate.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Regardless of what the negativos here on AB spout, Toyotas are still good cars. This is perhaps the best time ever to buy one, as the parent company is desperate and dealers are desperate. All the hate is working in favor of the buying public, and now is the perfect time to pick up that Tacoma, 4Runner, Camry, Prius, whatever.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Do you get free oil changes for being a Toyota suck up?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Good appliances - yes; good cars - that's highly debatable.
        • 4 Years Ago
        yes, because good cars kill their drivers O.o
        • 4 Years Ago
        You're still not going to get INTENTIONAL acceleration though...
        • 4 Years Ago
        They may still make some good cars, but if I don't trust them to be there when they don't (unless forced to), how can I trust my family with them? The only cars I've ever bought have been Toyotas (as much for my needs as trusting Toyota) and until recently, I had been satisfied. Our next car was likely going to be the Highlander (until recently), but I don't believe in them any more. Looks like were leaning toward Subaru or Honda now.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Caddy-V:

        No, his engine is sludged up.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The more cars Toyota sells, the more cars that will be recalled, talk about stupid. How could anyone fall for this scam! A high quality product on the surface, but deep inside it's garbage!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well I could be critical -- but got tricked like these folks too.

      I refused to believe GM would EVER enter barkrupsy, so I bought $1500 worth of share thinking all those people saying bad things about GMs state was a bunch of GM-haters talking.

      I was lucky to ONLY loss $1200. Oh well.

      What people don`t realize .. it is all the same at the end of the day (always has been). They will buy these cars for $4000 or $5000 less, but they will be worth at least the much less when they sell them.

      When I bought my 2nd Neon in 2002, I walk in and the sales manager told me it was a bad day as Chrysler had just increased it rebates on the vans and they had to lower and write off the money on all their used stock. He said it had instantly cost them tens of thousands and everyone who just bought cars is now very annoyed and calling to complain. He said it looks good to consumers, but he said it is hell for the dealer. He said shoot -- there are 2 year old vans coming off lease that we are paying residuals on that are more then brand new.

      When you sell below your MSRP the residuals on ALL cars like it instantly go down by that exact amount. Scary.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Honestly, as far as investments and finances go it's *never* a good idea to let your emotions get involved. Otherwise you risk your portfolio ending up like an Enron employee's. Now if you like a company and think that they run their business well then sure you can invest in it, but investing in a company just because you're a fan is a great way to get hurt.
        And the other really bad thing that happens when you get too emotionally invested is that you basically never sell the stock even though you should be jumping ship. If anything it's better to invest in a company that you're *not* a fan of, but you think is run well because at least then you can dump the shares if things go south. I think we've all gotten hurt because of this since most people tend to get kinda emotionally tied up by what they own.
        Right now I really don't know what to think about Toyota stock. They're a long, long, long way from bankruptcy though. I mean even if they were to eventually go bankrupt it wouldn't happen anytime soon-look at how long GM managed to slowly circle the drain-it tooks years and years and years and a financial crisis to finally do them in. I guess the real issue right now with Toyota is that what's good for the company long term is going to be terrible for the stock short-term. Basically they SHOULD operate with almost no profits as they pour money into improving quality control, since that'll help save the company long term...except of course reporting losses or tiny profits is terrible for stock shares.
        And that's the real pity of publicly traded companies-they're beholden to their shareholders to return ever larger profits in the short term, even if there's a great long term strategy that would require short term pain.
        So I'm going to stay out of Toyota shares for now. Who knows what'll happen to them, maybe they'll go up, maybe they'll go down. But hopefully Toyota takes this chance to pump out more exciting (and not in the wrong way) cars and focus on taking their quality to the next level instead of trying to be the next GM. Definitely not the right car company to try and emulate, lol.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Like me, you'll be needing a schedule D for your taxes this year.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This news doesn't surprise me - Australian Toyota sales in February were around 18% stronger than the same time last year, and were up around 7% on Jan 2010. Just under a 20% market share which is about 7% ahead of it's nearest competitor (Holden). On a slightly unrelated note, I think Ford has also lost third spot on the sales ladder to Mazda.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have a question....why would someone buy a toyota or lexus? I just don't get it, Toyota and Lexus' are all ugly and overpriced, except for a few Lexus' and maybe 1 Toyota. Seriously, Toyota/Lexus really is going out of business, I'd never buy one...WHY WOULD SOMEONE BUY A CAR THAT CAN RANDOMLY KILL YOU??? I'm shocked by them lowering there prices a little people are flocking to buy, AGAIN, WHY WOULD SOMEONE BUY A CAR THAT CAN RANDOMLY HAVE A MIND OF ITS OWN. Its like iROBOT type stuff. I'll stick with Honda/Acura and Nissan Infiniti. Goodbye to Toyota....
        • 4 Years Ago
        lol, any car can randomly kill you. And since you appear to be a Honda fanboy I'll just say that at least in a Toyota you might have a shot at putting the car in neutral, 0turning the engine off, or worst case forcing a lower speed crash.
        On the other hand if you crash in a Honda there's a good chance that instead of protecting you, the airbag will send shrapnel flying into your face.
        http://www.autoblog.com/2010/02/10/honda-extends-airbag-shrapnel-recall-to-378-758-u-s-vehicles/
        Honest to goodness I'd rather be forced to drive without power steering because I shut the engine off than to get a face full of shrapnel. Just because there's morons out there who don't know that the emergency brake exists or how to turn their engines off doesn't mean that it makes sense for people who *do* know how to stop their cars in an emergency to start buying cars where the excitement is derived from having grenades for airbags. Notice that the last two supposed runaway Priuses resulted in 0 deaths and 0 serious injuries, whereas getting shrapnel shot into your face at point blank by your airbag is gonna hurt pretty friggin' bad.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Toyotas not going any where sells will come back sooner or later even after the deals going on now. Just look at Ford back in 2001 when they recalled all the tires because they forgot to fill them to the right psi and all the explorers and rangers where rolling over. But you really cant compare them to toyota both companies blamed each other and no one took the blame, yea ford replaced all of the tires but wheres there congressional hearing for them it never went that far even though they killed 174 people and injuried more then 500. Toyota has only been linked to 53 deaths im not saying its a good thing but maybe american companies get more lead way for mistakes without taking the blame for it. UAW what a joke
      • 4 Years Ago
      The percentages they claim are in reference to what? Prior month sales? Prior Year (same month)?
      • 4 Years Ago
      If that does happen (i.e. rebounding sales), it will be on account of the propoganda driven, American auto bashing cult members whom I'm sure are fanatically attempting to ignore the news. Speaking of which, new near-death experiences popping up all the time.

      If it can be proven that this issue was known when Toyota tried to blame it on the floor mats then there needs to be some serious investigation/criminal prosecution going down. It's just a little more important than failing to acknowledge sludging issues.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Toyota is not fighting for consumer confidence so much as against a corrupt "crony capitalism" machine.

      GM and its owners the UAW and the US government are fighting a dirty battle to drive the car buying public away from potential competitors and disguise the fact that $50 billion of taxpayer wealth was destroyed in bailing out GM. Despite the takeover, GM sales have been declining further, and of that trend continued, further bailouts would have to be undertaken.

      When 30 of the 50 members of the Congress "investigating" Toyota have received contributions from the UAW it makes you wonder. When ABC news doctors a report on "unintentional acceleration" by inducing a short circuit in a parked Toyota and filming the result (but editing it into the segment to imply this is happening in a moving vehicle), you have to wonder . When Ford hybrids were suddenly implicated around the same time (but no comparable GM cars which use similar technology), then you have to wonder.

      What really inspires wonder is the crony capitalist machine seems unable to realize all these pieces of information are freely and easily available on the Internet for anyone to discover and analyze.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Toyota is far from garbage. I used to work behind a parts counter and we got far more customers asking for parts for a domestic than a Toyota. Just ask your local mechanics which cars they need to repair the most.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I was talking to my mechanic just the other day and he told me the cars he sees the least are Honda and Toyota. Go figure...or maybe for a reason.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Your anecdote is awesome. You sold more domestic parts because there are far more domestics, particularly old ones on the road, and therefore more of them see time in repair shops. All the old Toyotas have rusted away or crashed and are not worth fixing any more.
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