Edmunds: Buyer Interest in Toyota Soars with O% APR Offers

ToyotaInterest in purchasing a Toyota has soared since the beleaguered car giant started offering its first widespread zero-percent APR financing this week, according to traffic data gathered by Edmunds.com, the prominent automotive resource.
Toyota’s financing and lease promotions generated nearly a 40 percent spike in purchase intent by visitors, Edmunds said. “Purchase intent” measures buyer interest based on pricing research, vehicle configuration and other focused steps taken by visitors. Purchase intent has a strong correlation to sales, Edmunds said.
In January, Toyota’s purchase intent averaged just over 13 percent, and then sharply fell to a 9.7 percent low as a result of the recall of millions of vehicles worldwide for sudden-acceleration issues.  
By Monday, March 1, Toyota purchase intent had recovered to 13 percent. On the following day, March 2, when the incentives were announced, Toyota purchase intent soared to 18 percent — a 14-month high, according to Edmunds.
Part of the reason for the jump is the rarity of such an incentive deal for Toyota that covers so many vehicles and such deep discounts.
“Because of the Toyota recall, people have been closely watching the company’s moves, and many were ready to take action upon hearing the announcement of this highly-anticipated incentives program,” said Edmunds.com Senior Analyst David Tompkins.  “Chrysler and GM didn’t get quite as much attention for two main reasons: historically … followers never get the same level of attention that the initiators do, and, second, this type of announcement is far more rare for Toyota.”
Toyota described the incentives as the “most far-reaching sales program in its history.”
Toyota is offering the zero-percent APR financing for up to 60 months on 2010 Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, RAV4, Tundra and Yaris models for qualifying buyers.

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