Toyota has been king of the U.S. sales mountain for two years now, but in order to stay number one, the automaker will ratchet up its incentives to U.S. dealers and customers.
Automotive News reports Toyota will offer consumers relaxed credit terms, consumer cash, and enhanced lease programs. One program in the southeastern region promises to automatically raise a buyer's credit score if they've made 12 consecutive payments on time. Some dealers say these aggressive programs are making leases accountable for 60 percent of new vehicle transactions.
Dealers, however, will really notice the extra marketing push. Salespeople in the southeast region will be rewarded with a $200 bonus per vehicle if they meet 100 percent of their sales objectives. Should they reach 110-percent of that goal, the bonus payout grows to $375 per vehicle. Previously, such bonuses were awarded sporadically, and would only apply to certain vehicles.
Although the automotive industry is forecast to grow by four percent in 2010, Toyota's goal is to increase sales by 6 percent, bringing the total to 8.27 million units. In the U.S., Toyota still held the #1 spot, but Ford -- who finished in second place -- trailed by only 55,558 cars.