Everyone's Doing It: Toyota Joins the Club, Slashes Rates

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
everyones doing it toyota joins the club slashes rates

When venturing out of the home carries an extra degree of danger, automakers know there needs to be a reward for breaking self-isolation. Even if physically entering a dealership isn’t necessary, there’s still the current economic uncertainty to dissuade customers.

As we told you yesterday, U.S. auto sales are on the rebound, slowly rising from the rock-bottom position reached less than a month ago. While per-vehicle incentives are, on average, on the decline (the byproduct of a smaller pickup slice in the retail mix), discounts aren’t the only way to lure customers into a buy. There’s also loan rates — and it seems Toyota has finally arrived at that party.

As reported by sales sleuths CarsDirect, Toyota has slashed loan rates on key models, following a trend started a month ago by panicky OEMs.

Analyzing a dozen U.S. markets, the publication notes that the RAV4, Camry, and Tacoma — best-sellers in their respective classes — have suddenly seen an APR haircut. That includes zero-percent APR for 60 months on a 2020 RAV4 in California, saving the buyer $4,000 over the life of the loan when compared to the previous offer.

The same offer can be found on the 2020 Tacoma, with 72-month loans seeing a corresponding drop in annual interest.

“In New York, the best rate yesterday was 3.9 percent. Today, it’s 1.9 percent,” CarsDirect notes. “On a $35,000 truck, that equates to a $31 improvement in payment and nearly a 52-percent drop in interest cost from $4,311 to $2,061.”

While the zero-percent/84-month offers seen elsewhere in the industry do not appear in the Toyota fold, the new offers are an improvement over what came before. As J.D. Power laid out yesterday, import automakers are gaining ground on the Detroit Three again after several weeks of truck-fueled domestic dominance. Sales growth in the compact SUV segment was notable, though that category is still down severely from pre-virus forecasts.

The opening of two large markets in the past couple of weeks (Michigan, Pennsylvania) to online sales, along with improving viral situations in large markets like New York and California, represents an opportunity for automakers to lessen some of the pandemic-borne damage — assuming they can lure customers into a buy.

[Image: Toyota]

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  • Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
  • William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.
  • Tassos The Euro spec Taurus is the US spec Ford FUSION.Very few buyers care to see it here. FOrd has stopped making the Fusion long agoWake us when you have some interesting news to report.
  • Marvin Im a current owner of a 2012 Golf R 2 Door with 5 grand on the odometer . Fun car to drive ! It's my summer cruiser. 2006 GLI with 33,000 . The R can be money pit if service by the dealership. For both cars I deal with Foreign car specialist , non union shop but they know their stuff !!! From what I gather the newer R's 22,23' too many electronic controls on the screen, plus the 12 is the last of the of the trouble free ones and fun to drive no on screen electronics Maze !
  • VoGhost It's very odd to me to see so many commenters reflexively attack an American company like this. Maybe they will be able to find a job with BYD or Vinfast.