Automakers Bolt From the Gates With Post-Harvey Discounts
There was quite a debate occurring in TTAC’s private Slack channel yesterday — a conversation sparked by knowledge of a new discount from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles extended to those who lost insured vehicles in Hurricane Harvey.
The timing of the offer — CarsDirect claims the deal was valid as of August 28th, even as images and video of the waterborne and helicopter rescues of Houston-area residents filled television screens and social media — raised an eyebrow. How soon is too soon? It would seem the main concerns of impacted residents over the past couple of days included finding food and shelter, reconnecting with loved ones, and perhaps picking up the pieces in both flood- and wind-damaged communities. Not shopping for a new vehicle online.
The nature of the offer sparked further debate. Affected residents in certain Texas and Louisiana counties can show a copy of their insurance claim form to receive $500 off the purchase or lease of a new FCA vehicle, certain models (like the Jeep Wrangler, Chrysler 200, SRT models, and Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio) not included. Buyers can combine the offer with other applicable discounts.
$500 off that new Grand Cherokee? Whoo-wee, you might say. At what dollar amount does a post-disaster offer change from feeling like an opportunistic sales grab and more like a gesture of kind-hearted humanitarian assistance? Or is this just cynical thinking — should we regard any offer as a sign of generosity? It’s certainly not a new practice for any automaker. On and on it went.
Of course, any conclusion comes down to the individual. But this morning we heard FCA isn’t alone in offering deals to Harvey victims.
Also thanks to CarsDirect, we now know that General Motors and Hyundai have their own discounts. Like FCA’s, the offers are good until January 2nd, 2018.
General Motors will also wipe $500 from the price of a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac for those with vehicles damaged by Harvey — a sum applicable to all existing discounts but not special lease promotions. However, the list of vehicles to which the discount doesn’t apply includes not high-end models, but low-end ones. Entry-level models like the Chevy Cruze and Malibu L, along with the Colorado Base, aren’t eligible. It’s hard not to notice these models aren’t known for their generous profit margins.
At Hyundai dealers, Harvey victims will see $750 erased from window stickers. The automaker’s Disaster Relief Coupon can be combined with any existing offer or promotion and, unlike FCA and GM, isn’t available solely to those living in certain counties. Just show that letter from your insurance company listing the make and model of the wrecked vehicle, as well as an estimate of damages.
The Korean automaker was actually the first out of the gate with its offer. Hyundai’s discount was made available on August 26th, the day after Harvey’s late-Friday landfall. GM’s discount started up on August 29th. Any offer — regardless of cash value — needs to start sometime and, as these offers span several months, the timing probably isn’t much of a thorny issue. Again, it comes down to the individual.
Other automakers have pledged money towards disaster relief efforts, including Mazda and Ford. Toyota, with its North American operations headquartered in Plano, Texas, has offered $3 million in assistance.
[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]
Join the conversation
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- StormEagle 400 miles range
- Inside Looking Out Enforcing laws? It is so yesterday! Welcome to California!
- Lou_BC You'd think cops would have an understanding of the laws they are supposed to enforce.
- Merlyn I’m on my second Spark and love it! I can pass any car I’ve never had a problem going up a hill it does just fine. As for cargo I can fit three suitcases, two book bags and still have the front seat for a passenger. Not sure what point this guy is trying to make. I have hand free phone service and Sirius radio plug in my phone and have navigation. I would buy another spark in a heartbeat.
- Buickman I won't own one and I'll be happy!
I seriously doubt that many will be lining up for $500 dollar discounts on new vehicles. I just read that only 20% of home owners actually had home insurance coverage.
Disaster Relief Coupon? (makes me think, "LOOK--10 cents off a box of Cheerios!") How about Disaster Relief Car? Step 1: present validated insurance claim for ruined car Step 2: receive keys to brand new Chrysler 200 Step 3: go back to re-arranging your life, while Chrysler writes up the tax write-off paperwork and all those dealers start sending out service flyers