In an unexpected turn of events, Toyota�"s safety recalls could create a jump in hybrid sales. To counteract the effects of negative publicity, Toyota is offering a sale on the 2010 Prius: $249-a-month on a three-year lease. Some dealers are also increasing residual rates and dropping finance rates.
"The programs are very aggressive," says Tom Rudnai, president of Longo Toyota in El Monte, Calif., the highest-volume Toyota dealership in the country. "We are seeing quite a bit of traffic," Rudnai told the Wall Street Journal. He added that the recall is bringing hundreds of customers for service, providing an opportunity to speak to them about deals on their next vehicle.
Hybrid competitors, most notably Honda and Ford, are trying to take advantage of Toyota�"s problems. According to Autodata Corp, Honda is discounting the Honda Insight to $219 per month on a no-money down lease. The Ford Fusion Hybrid continues to sponsor American Idol, which also features competing commercials, sometimes back-to-back, for the Fusion Hybrid, Toyota Prius and Honda Insight.
This level of marketing, and price incentives, is unprecedented for hybrids. In recent years, when gas prices were higher, dealers were charging premiums to hybrid buyers hoping to bypass long waiting lists to purchase a Prius.
Read More... [Source: HybridCars.com]