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Toyota to continue incentives, Lexus to join for May

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Toyota to continue incentives, Lexus to join for May

05/04/2010, 4:05 PM BY MARK KLEIS

Toyota has announced that it intends to continue increased discounts and lower lease rates into May, and its luxury division, Lexus, says that it will also begin a program with special lease and interest rates. Toyota first began offering historically high incentives in March, following the worldwide recalls of over 8.5 million vehicles.

According to Reuters, Toyota announced during a sales call today that it will continue aggressive incentives through June 1, as well as beginning increased incentives at its Lexus division.

Toyota has been offering record incentives since March, with zero percent financing on seven models, including the Camry and Corolla. Toyota is also including two years of free maintenance on top of historically high discounts.

“Our brand has taken some bruises over the last couple of months,” said Bob Carter, group vice president responsible for Toyota brand U.S. sales. “We’ve got to rebuild the brand to remove any cautions consumers have,” Carter said. “We’re going to do what it takes to keep ourselves competitive in an improving but challenging market.”

Despite whatever damage the Toyota brand may have incurred as a result of the nearly ten million vehicles recalled worldwide so far this year, the automaker did manage to increase its April sales by 24 percent when compared to 2009. Toyota’s April sales in 2009 were down 42.2 percent compared to April 2008, with passenger cars down 41.6 percent, and light trucks down 43.1 percent.

Carter attributed the increase in sales to the heavy incentives that “continue to be a home run for our consumers.”

Toyota’s sales placed them third in the U.S. with 157,439 vehicles sold for the month of April, trailing behind number one General Motors with 183,091 vehicles sold, and number two Ford Motor Company with 167,542 vehicles sold.



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