Just like old times, auto industry giants General Motors and Toyota are slugging it out -- this time with some of the biggest sales incentives in history.
The prize is the soul of the Toyota owner. Since January, General Motors, Chrysler, Ford and even Hyundai have cranked up incentives and advertising to capitalize on Toyota’s recall woes. Now, after a free-for-all lasting more than a month, it’s primarily Toyota and GM trading blows in an all-out incentives battle.
Both automakers are spending huge sums on rebates and special interest rates. But GM is doling out bigger incentives targeting Toyota owners exclusively.
Still, the overall size of the Toyota campaign is unprecedented. The automaker is offering you thousands of dollars’ worth of 0% deals on virtually every vehicle in its line-up -- whether you are a Toyota owner or not. Rebates are available as well. The terms may vary from region to region -- so see your Toyota dealer for details.
The incentives are giving a boost to key vehicles -- including the Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, and RAV4 models listed here -- involved in the latest accelerator-related recalls. (They haven’t involved the Yaris, Toyota’s subcompact.)
|Select The Vehicles Below And View The Incentive|
|Toyota Camry||Toyota Highlander||Toyota Corolla||Toyota Matrix||Toyota Yaris||Toyota RAV4|
|Chevrolet Cobalt||Chevrolet Malibu||GMC Sierra||Chevrolet Impala||Chevrolet HHR||Buick Lucerne|
After halting sales of the affected models in late January, Toyota began repairing its stock of unsold units and started selling them again in early February. It described the repair for the most serious problem -- the sticking accelerator -- as a thirty-minute fix.
That hasn’t stopped rival dealerships from taking advantage of the situation over the past few weeks. In January, for instance, a Maryland Ford dealership was offering a $500 bonus for any Toyota traded in on a new Ford. In another example, Rick Bokman Buick Cadillac GMC in Olean, N.Y. went out on Facebook earlier this month to announce the latest round of special rebates for Toyota owners.
At first, the Japanese automaker seemed content to air TV commercials thanking customers for their loyalty. But now it’s reaching into its deep pockets and fighting back hard.
Strictly for the first two weeks of March, the Japanese automaker offered returning Toyota customers $500, over and above incentives already at historic highs. And for the entire month, Toyota has sweetened its deals with free maintenance for two years/25,000 miles. They are exclusively available to Toyota owners.
GM dealerships meanwhile are giving Toyota and Lexus owners a warm welcome. Owners can get up to $1,000 cash back to help with lease termination costs no matter what GM vehicle they buy or lease.
Or customers can choose a rebate option: An extra $1,000 is available on most GM vehicles.
Meanwhile, Ford has stepped back from the fray, and two other heavyweights, Honda and Nissan, chose not to enter it in the first place. But thanks to the push from Toyota, incentives have been higher for March across the board.