• Mar 26th 2010 at 5:22PM
  • 17
Toyota commands about a 15.5-percent share of the U.S. market so far this year. That's the same share it had a year ago, before its recall marathon began. Analysts studying the market have suggested that Japanes automaker's brand perception hasn't taken that big of a hit with the wider public, but Toyota has also dipped heavily into incentives and price dropping in order to keep moving its metal. Those are two corners of the retail world you don't usually find Toyota, and the move has apparently dragged Honda with it.

Honda is the brand most cross-shopped against Toyota, so what its rival does to draw traffic must be closely watched and, in this case, matched. The Feature Special Lease deal Honda has just introduced is good for nearly every model, eliminates the down payment, security deposit and first month's payment, and waives all lease fees. The program runs until May 3. On top of that Honda has 0.9-, 1.9-, and 2.9-percent APR financing deals. Between them, they cover Honda's entire model line.

Honda's lease program runs until May 3, a month longer than Toyota's. Now that Toyota knows it's going to be a long battle to hold its position, we'll be interested to see how what kind of fortitude and endurance the company has. Honda probably will be as well...

[Source: L.A. Times via The Car Connection | Image: Scott Olson/Getty ]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      If you read the fine print on Honda lease"s you have to be the world's most perfect customer. In this economy it's quite a bit harder to perfect enough to have a Honda lease. Why bother leasing a Honda they still make great cars and mini vans, but it and own it for 10 yrs.
      • 5 Years Ago
      People still lease?
        • 5 Years Ago
        If you buy a new car every 3 years, you should lease. If you buy a car and drive it 'til the wheels fall off, you should finance.

        The advantages of a lease are: 1) you don't pay taxes on the full amount 2) you get a very good rate of interest that the dealer cannot screw with too much.

        Cars with high residuals are good lease candidates.

        To avoid getting screwed with when your lease expires, you must realize that you have 3 options. 1) buy the car 2) sell the car 3) walk away

        As long s you don't walk away, you don't have to pay any milage or wear penalties. The dealer will try to get you to pay, just tell them you want them to buy the car, not turn it in to the bank. They aren't going to turn it in to the bank anyway, it is just a ploy to get into your wallet. If you go this route, the residual is effectively your pay off.

        Som people insist they want to "own" their cars, and if they plan to hold on to it for 5 or more years, they should. However, you should realize that until you pay off the car, you don't really own it. If you you trade cars before making the last payment, you are effectively doing a high-interest lease.
        • 5 Years Ago
        After all the "great deals" I've heard people describe getting on their leases, it always sounded like combining the worst aspects of owning vs. renting something, while losing the benifit of either.

        You don't really build equity, you have to religiously maintain it, you don't own it when the term is up, you can't sell it when the term is up, the payments aren't exactly small, you can't just walk away from the contract pain free. Things like that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They definitely do but Honda uses such deals to get people in the door. It's a proven motivating device.

        Interestingly, despite all the PR mess, Toyota's sales have kept humming. They're giving HUGE deals away to keep the factories running and metal moving. Honda is seriously P.O.'d because Toyota is essentially dragging everyone into a price-war that devalues everyone's product, a la GM after 9/11. Profits evaporate quickly in such sales environments and it takes a lot of time to come back.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @ Michael,

      I lease my vehicles. Just went from a 2007 BMW 328i Coupe to a Benz. I'm a car guy and I like getting a new one every three years. And not having to worry about repairs (no, I don't own my own business, so there are no tax advantages for me).

      I agree with your comments, except this one:

      "To avoid getting screwed with when your lease expires, you must realize that you have 3 options. 1) buy the car 2) sell the car 3) walk away"

      How can you "sell" a vehicle that you never owned?

      One other point about leasing... Everyone who puts it down always says "at the end of the lease, you have nothing leftover."

      Well, guess what? Any advantage you think you have by financing vs. leasing is WIPED OUT by the severe drop in value of the car after the loan is finished and you've put all of the miles on it.

      AND you've paid thousands in finance charges during the life of the loan.

      AND, the warranty ends during the time of the loan, so you end up paying for repairs.

      You've paid on the vehicle for 5 years as though it was still worth the original cost. Plus, all the interest.

      The so-called "big advantage" of financing vs. leasing is a MYTH.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Leasing is good if you want a drive a car you can't possibly afford to buy or if you own your own business and can write it off.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ...or if you have perfect credit, don't put a lot of miles on the car, and don't have the budget for a standard car payment. The difference between a lease payment and a car payment, even with 48 or 60 month financing can be well over $150 - $200/ month.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great leases won't make Hondas any less boring.
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