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Report: Toyota sales may bounce back big time in March

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Filed under: Car Buying, Marketing/Advertising, Toyota

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As Toyota's recall issues hit a fevered pitch over the past few months, customer confidence faltered and sales predictably suffered. We were wondering how Toyota would react to the comparative dearth of showroom traffic, and the answer was to take a page out of the domestic's tattered handbook: big-time incentives.

On March 1, Toyota announced zero percent financing, subsidized leases and free maintenance for two years, and the early results appear to be extremely favorable. Automotive News reports that analysts are seeing big-time gains for the Japanese automaker, with evidence that sales are up 50 percent so far for the month. A 50 percent sales increase for the month would more than wipe out Toyota's depressing January and February, but analysts like Edmund's Jessica Caldwell reportedly feel sales will level out to a predicted 30 percent rise by March 31. "Incentives work best in the early going, but they start to peter out as the month goes along."

So does news of a Toyota sales increase means that Americans are tuning out the recent influx of bad news including a pair of reported runaway Prius hybrids in the interest of saving money? AN reports that analysts like Caldwell and George Magliano at IHS Global Insight feel Toyota loyalists are jumping at the company's big-time incentives, and the brand will have to try new things to attract new customers in the months ahead. That may be true, but we're thinking Toyota must be more than a bit relieved that customers are coming back to showrooms, at least for now.

[source: Automotive News - sub. req. | Image: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images]

Report: Toyota sales may bounce back big time in March originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 11 Mar 2010 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Further proof people are stupid...

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Or further proof that the actual safety problem was blown way out of proportion and people are looking to get a good deal.

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Further proof people are stupid...

Or further proof that the actual safety problem was blown way out of proportion and people are looking to get a good deal.

I'd say it is a combination of the two.

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The masses love their FWD generics.

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With 0% financing on their vehicles, you can bet sales will be faster than a runaway Prius.

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With 0% financing on their vehicles, you can bet sales will be faster than a runaway Prius.

May I add the cash on the hood? A local dealer is offering $3,500 on Camry along with the 0%.

Most of the people are thinking that Toyota's recall is a blimp in the company's stellar reputation. And now they have great quality cars for reduced prices they had not gotten for years due to Toyota reputation and high resale. Kids in candy shop!

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Not too surprising, since Toyota didn't drop that badly in February, and Toyota fans drink the kool-aide and like the generic junk they pump out. Most of Toyota's products aren't even very good, plus with all the negative press they got, sales should drop, but people don't seem to care. If Chrysler had the same unintended acceleration problems, I think it would have bankrupted them (again). Somehow Toyota gets a free pass.

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The masses love their FWD generics.

+1

but I love LS Series V8's ripping up the pavement!

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May I add the cash on the hood? A local dealer is offering $3,500 on Camry along with the 0%.

Most of the people are thinking that Toyota's recall is a blimp in the company's stellar reputation. And now they have great quality cars for reduced prices they had not gotten for years due to Toyota reputation and high resale. Kids in candy shop!

But the press is seeing the end of the toyopet free reign. They aren't getting the free ride they once were.

Chris

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And so Toyota begins to create another round of problems for itself.

Just watch, Toyota will have to stay with incentives to keep their sheep grazing in the flock. When they take the incentives away, sales dip again. Add to that, the UI problems aren't over with yet either and it's going to be fresh in people's minds for a while after it is all finally said and done.

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0% financing, cash on the hood, and 2 years of free maintenance. I think most people believe any new Toyotas are going to be fixed and will not suffer from any problems that current ones may have.

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I think the bigger long term effect is going to be the media no longer giving Toyota a free pass in reviews. See a lot more references to "bland styling", "so-so ergonomics", "low to midpack handling" and "dinged up reputation", which their "just average reliability" can't overcome to win reviews...... even though nothing has really changed with the car itself.

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