If you're in the market to buy a new or used Toyota Prius, now is the time to do it. Quick to follow up its debut of the redesigned 2010 model, Toyota has announced rebates on its 2009 models and introduced a new certified used hybrid program.
Undoubtedly working to win over consumers who might have been considering waiting for 2010 Honda Insights or 2010 Ford Fusion hybrids, Toyota is now offering $750 cash back on all 2009 Prius models. Toyota is switching gears from its tactics in the last three months: 0 percent financing, low interest rates and lease programs failed to jump start the auto giant's sales in the North American market. Sales plunged 36.7 percent in December, below the market average, despite the incentives.
"We're going to keep our dealers competitive in the marketplace," Jim Lentz, Toyota's president of sales in the U.S, said last week at the 2009 North American International Auto Show. "Down payment and negative equity is more important for customers, so they want more cash rebates." The incentives will run through February 2nd.
In addition to the cash back incentive on 2009 Prius models, Toyota is also introducing what it calls the Toyota Certified Used Hybrid (TCUH) program. An industry first, the program allows customers to benefit from additional inspection and warranty coverage on Toyota hybrids. In addition to the 160-point quality inspection included in the Toyota Certified Used Vehicles (TCUV) program, 17 hybrid-specific points are added to the TCUH inspection.
Toyota also slaps a few warranties on as well: a 3-month/3,000-mile comprehensive warranty, a 7-year/100,000-mile factory hybrid battery warranty, and 7-year/100,000-mile roadside assistance. Toyota vehicles can only qualify for the TCUV program if they have less than 85,000 miles on the odometer and are within six model years of the current generation, so we can expect the TCUH program to have similar restrictions.
"The program is a great way to increase awareness of certified used hybrid vehicles," said TCUV Marketing Manager Steve Gallagher. "As more hybrids enter the used vehicle marketplace, Toyota Certified Hybrids offer high-quality options to customers interested in purchasing these fuel-efficient vehicles."
Source: Automotive News