Toyota to offer more incentives
The automaker's March sales rise 40%. It's hoping that good deals will trump bad publicity from its recall problems.
Updated at 5:55 p.m. ET
Toyota Motor (TM) plans to extend no-interest loan and discount lease offers for at least another month and may make free maintenance standard for all U.S. buyers.
The move comes as the Japanese automaker tries to rebound from recall problems.
The company will announce its plans Monday, when its current incentives expire, Bob Carter, group vice president of Toyota’s U.S. sales operations, told Bloomberg News today.
"We’re looking at having a little bit different execution of complimentary maintenance. The feedback from customers has been very positive," he said at the New York International Auto Show. "What you will see us do is stay aggressive on the short term."
March sales surged 40%, Carter told The Associated Press today.
Automakers are scheduled to release March sales figures on Thursday. Most analysts see sales rising -- because of all those incentives.
Toyota’s March incentives probably helped boost its U.S. sales for the month, Carter said. The world’s largest automaker is working to repair its reputation after recalling 8.5 million vehicles worldwide to fix defects linked to unintended acceleration and to adjust brakes.
The company starting early this month offered Corolla, Matrix and Yaris cars, Venza wagons, RAV4 and Highlander sport- utility vehicles and Tundra pickups with no-interest loans of as long as five years.
Its incentives also included lease discounts on models including Prius hybrids, as well as free maintenance for two years to repeat Toyota buyers.
The maintenance offer probably will be extended to first- time Toyota buyers, Carter said, without elaborating.
The March sales increase for Toyota and Lexus vehicles "will be big; 3% is a floor," he told Bloomberg. "There’s been speculation about the safety of our vehicles, but if consumers really felt that way I couldn’t develop a marketing plan to sell around that."
Toyota's aggressive incentives (plus incentives from General Motors) may limit Ford Motor's (F) ability to raise prices, The Wall Street Journal said today.
The Journal cited a report from Buckingham Research that argues Toyota's incentives may be forcing Ford to get into the incentive game, too. That would definitely hit profits.
Ford was down 5.4% to $12.57 this afternoon, in part because a health care trust for United Auto Workers retirees expects to raise about $1.78 billion from the sale of warrants to buy the company’s stock.
The stock had reached $14.54 during the quarter before falling back.
Toyota's American Depositary Units were down 1% to $80.42 this afternoon. They're down 4.2% from Dec. 31 but up 12.5% since bottoming at $71.55 on Feb. 23.
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] There wasn't a lot of excitement in the stock market today and there is nothing wrong with that. After rallying in broad-based fashion on Friday, the major indices stood their ground (for the most part) amid a lack of conviction from buyers and sellers alike.
Today wasn't a case so much of the stock market going up as it was a case of some influential stocks going up to keep the major indices on a winning path. In fact, decliners were just about even with ... More
More Market News
|There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.|
LATEST MARKET DISPATCHES
- No more Dispatches; here's where to find market news
The Market Dispatches column has been discontinued. Here's where to find the latest stock and business news on MSN Money, and the latest from market writer Charley Blaine.
- Dow falls 59 as late-day gloom kills a rally
- Stocks held back by fiscal-cliff worries
- Stocks suffer worst weekly loss in 5 months
- Dow off 121 as post-election swoon continues
- Dow slumps 313 after Obama's re-election
- Dow jumps 133 as Americans head to the polls
The photo-sharing site only has 10 employees, and it may be up for grabs.