The legal and public relation troubles keep piling up, and with the recent Lexus GX 460 stop-sale, analysts and industry insiders believe Toyota will have no choice but to continue its extensive sales incentive program beyond April.
Earlier this month, we reported Toyota intended to keep its March sales momentum by extending its incentive campaign to the end of April. The campaign included a two-year free maintenance program to new lessees and purchasers, discount leases, cash rebates, and no-interest financing on most Toyota models. These incentives were worth $2568 per vehicle last month, more than double the $1003 the incentives were worth in March 2009.
While the incentives helped spur a 41-percent improvement in Toyota’s March sales, the Japanese automaker hasn’t completely reversed its fortunes yet. Earlier in the week, Consumer Reports slapped its “safety risk” tag on the Lexus GX 460 SUV, once again drawing the media spotlight and unfavorable attention. The GX 460’s Toyota cousin, the 4Runner, was not dealt the same fate.
Toyota has not formally decided on its incentives scheme beyond May 3, according to spokeswoman Celeste Migliore, but other sources believe the Toyota carrots will need to last into the summer.
A sampling of Toyota’s April incentives include:
Avalon — 0% APR financing or $3000 cash back
Camry — 2.9% APR financing on 2011 models, 0% on 2010 models
Corolla — 0% on 2010 models, $159 per month lease for 36 months
RAV4 — 0% on 2010 models for 36 months, $209 per month lease for 36 months
Tacoma — 3.9% on 2010 Double Cab models
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)