Costco, the beacon of bulk buying, where you can buy everything from gasoline to your own casket at deep discount, is offering some Costco-only incentives through its Auto Program in partnership with specific car brands: for now, Volvo and Chrysler, with other brands planned for later.

First, Volvo: Now through Oct. 2, you can get both special incentives AND employee pricing (aka "A-Plan" pricing) AND whatever rebates and incentives Volvo might already have going on. The Costco incentives are:
  • $3,000 on 2017 and 2018 S90 sedans.
  • $750 on 2017 and 2018 S60 sedans.
  • $750 on 2017 and 2018 V60 and V90 Cross Country wagons.
  • $750 on 2017 and 2018 XC90 SUVs.
  • $750 on the outgoing 2017 XC60 crossovers.
Automaker incentives usually vary by region, but in the Detroit area, at least, Volvo currently has a $2,500 incentive on the 2018 XC90 and $3,500 on the 2017 model. Those end Aug. 31 but could be renewed in September, and others could be added then as well. Volvo is also offering special interest rates on financing some of the other models.

And when all is said and done, if you fill out a Costco customer survey you'll get a $200 cash card.

The Chrysler Pacifica deal, also through Oct. 2, is even simpler: Go to the Costco site, print out a certificate worth $1,000, and take it to a Chrysler dealership — any dealership, not just those that usually work with Costco, which is a first. The incentive covers both 2017 and 2018 models. And like the Volvo promotion, these Costco incentives can be combined with whatever Chrysler's doing — and it currently has a myriad of incentives on 2017 Pacificas, in various combinations that differ depending on whether you're leasing or buying.

If you register at the Costco Auto Program website, you'll be put in touch with a dealer who can review the bottom line after all the discounts are factored in.

Participating dealerships have offered special pricing to Costco members for years, up to the price automaker employees get. Costco's program doesn't typically work the way these Volvo and Chrysler programs do, though a similar joint promotion with Volvo back in 2013 sold 7,500 cars.

If you haven't used the Costco Auto Program, but you don't like haggling at a dealership, you might give it a try. The beauty of it is that a dealer is obligated to offer you a set price and is also obligated to treat you by certain rules, such as not trying to upsell you. Last year, 490,000 vehicles were sold to Costco members through the program. That count even includes things like RVs, ATVs, motorcycles and personal watercraft. It even includes used cars, not just new.

"This is just the beginning," said Jay Maxwell with the Costco Auto Program. "We expect to do many more special programs like this next year with a variety of automakers."

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