Recently, General Motors has been offering special buying incentives specifically tailored to steer people away from Toyota and Lexus dealerships, and even get current Toyota owners out of their cars. And while most people look at this as just a clever marketing technique to promote other automakers in the wake of Toyota's recall wound, a group of dealers are none too happy about the marketing campaign. What's more, because the U.S. government currently owns a 60 percent stake in GM, Toyota dealers have made accusations that American taxpayer dollars are being used to fund these incentives.

The Toyota National Dealer Council, which represents approximately 1,250 Toyota dealers across the United States, claims that using taxpayer dollars for this purpose is "reckless, unfair and detrimental to the entire auto industry." And while we believe it's a potentially rational argument for the TNDC to make, we must remember that no specific evidence has been presented to completely prove their point. GM may be mostly owned by the U.S. government, but it's still an autonomous company, and no one can say for sure if its marketing decisions are, in any way, influenced by the officials in Washington, D.C. Hit the jump to read the entire TNDC press release.

[Source: Toyota National Dealer Council | Image: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images]
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Toyota Dealers: "Their targeting of our customers using taxpayer dollars is reckless, unfair, and detrimental to the entire auto industry, and to the country."

March 9, 2010 – Today, Toyota dealers across the country are speaking out against General Motors using taxpayer dollars to fund unfair tactics that undermine their businesses. Last week, General Motors launched a nationwide predatory advertising campaign that uses fear in an attempt to lure customers away from Toyota and Lexus dealers.

"Toyota dealers across the country are business owners who stimulate local economies and pay taxes to the government," said Paul Atkinson, President of the Toyota National Dealer Council and owner of Atkinson Toyota in Texas. "It is outrageous that GM is using our taxpayer dollars against us, making me and other Toyota dealers pay to undermine our own businesses."

According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. government owns 60 percent of the equity in General Motors.

"These incentives fail to take into account that, despite some recent problems, Toyota still makes some of the best cars, trucks and SUVs on the road in America," Atkinson continued. "These low-blow tactics pose a real threat to the citizens of the United States if the government lets these slip by."

Last week, Toyota executives wrapped up congressional testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and, most recently, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation.

"In open and honest testimony before Congress, Toyota executives clearly demonstrated that Toyota is committed to working with regulators to ensure the safety of American drivers," said Atkinson. "It is time for the U.S. government to stop funding these predatory incentives that discourage fellow American citizens from doing business with me. GM said it themselves, 'May the best car win.'"

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