With all the adverse publicity surrounding the Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) safety recalls, there is probably never a better time to buy a Toyota car. Indeed, the company is currently offering one of its biggest sales promotions ever: interest-free loans for up to 60 months and two years of free, after-sales maintenance and inspection services for new customers.
An ABC News article said Toyota’s incentives hit $2,256 (U.S.) per vehicle in March, their highest level ever. Before the crisis began last fall, Toyota’s incentives averaged $1,700 (U.S.).
As for concerns over vehicle quality, an article by Canadian Business journalists Laura Cameron and Thomas Watson puts forward a strong case that they are unfounded. The furor mostly reflects “fevered overreactions” going by the views of auto industry experts Jeremy Anwyl of Edmunds Inc. and Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosier Automotive consultants Inc. And
in spite of all the negative publicity, Toyota received more segment awards than any other nameplate in the 2010 JD Power Reliability Study.
Toyota’s sales promotion is starting to have an impact: Vehicle sales in the U.S rose 40% in March over the same month last year. A few more months of increases like this and its special sales incentives could be history.
As Toyota puts this crisis behind it, the company’s languishing stock should produce some nice gains over the next year or two. If you pick up some at current prices, you could have several more thousand dollars in gains to add to the discount for buying a Toyota vehicle.
Disclosure: I do not currently own shares in Toyota Motors