Toyota’s 0% Financing Incentives to End May 3

Toyota Toyota made it official today that it is extending zero percent interest loans and special lease offers on some models until May 3, and it is expanding its maintenance program.
In March, its first widespread zero-interest loans pushed sales up 41 percent compared to a year ago, and lifted sales industry-wide as Ford, General Motors and Honda followed suit with incentives of their own and also netted double-digit gains.
The Japanese automaker, though, is still very much embroiled in its biggest quality and financial crisis. The U.S. government yesterday said it is hitting Toyota with a proposed $16.4 million fine for “failing to notify” U.S. officials of the sticky pedal defect for at least four months. It would be a record civil penalty.
Toyota has not said how it will respond to the fine, but there is a potential for new waves of lawsuits in the aftermath of the recall of millions of its vehicles for unintended acceleration.
At the beginning of March, Toyota launched its most widespread discount program hoping to regain lost customer loyalty and win over new clients looking for bargains on Camry and other popular models.
Toyota’s discount extension includes zero-percent financing for up to five years on six of its models. They include the Avalon, Camry and Corolla. Low lease rates will be extended on up to eight models. Incentives vary regionally.
Toyota also said it is expanding its free two-year maintenance program to cover all customers, not just repeat buyers.
In March, the average automotive manufacturer incentive in the U.S. was $2,742 per vehicle sold, up $100, or 3.8 percent, from February 2010, according to Edmunds.com But that figure was down $423, or 13.4 percent, from March 2009.
Toyota spent an average of $2,256 per vehicle sold, a record high for the automaker.

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