Toyota may end March with a soaring 82 percent jump in sales driven by its landmark zero percent financing incentives on several models, projects Edmunds.com, the automotive industry resource site.
And it has drawn competitors into similar deals that will boost overall new auto sales up 44 percent compared to February, Edmunds said.
If you’re looking to buy a car from another manufacturer which doesn’t offer a 0% APR deal, you may want to enrol in a negotiation skills training course so you have the upper hand when entering the room.
Toyota’s promotions were in response to the worst quality and recall crisis in its history, which erupted last month and is still making headlines. Ford, General Motors and No. 2 Japanese rival Honda have followed Toyota with its own financing or lease promotions.
Industry-wide, Edmunds predicts new vehicle sales, including fleet sales, to come in at 1,119,700 units for March, a 30.9 percent increase from March 2009 and a 43.9 percent increase from February 2010. Its analysts predict that March’s seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) will be 12.4 million, up from 10.3 million in February 2010, a still encouraging 20 percent jump.
“Although this SAAR sounds promising, it’s too early to wave the flag and say that the economy has turned the corner,” Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl. “Incentives drove sales this month, but those were defensive moves in response to Toyota stepping up incentives and are unlikely to last because inventories are simply not high enough to justify them in the long term.”
Toyota’s market share is expected to be 16.3 percent in March 2010, up from 15.5 percent in March 2009 and up from 12.9 percent in February 2010.
Toyota’s troubles haven’t translated into greater combined market share for U.S. carmakers. The combined monthly U.S. market share for Chrysler, Ford and General Motors is estimated at 44.0 percent in March 2010, down from 45.1 percent in March 2009 and down from 47.1 percent in February 2010.
Ford and GM, however, will likely register big increases for March as well.
Edmunds.com predicts GM will sell 197,200 units in March, up 27.0 percent compared to March 2009 and up 39.3 percent from February 2010.
Ford will sell 201,100 units in March, up 55.5 percent compared to March 2009 and up 43.3 percent from February 2010.
Chrysler didn’t far as well, but will manage a month-to-month jump. Chrysler will sell 94,100 units in March, down 6.5 percent compared to March 2009 and up 11.7 percent from February 2010.