Automakers Create Coronavirus Car Payment Plans & Programs in Bid to Boost Flagging Sales
This story was originally released on 3/16/2020, with the latest update coming on 5/15/2020. Continue to check back for the most up to date information.
In response to the economic uncertainty fueled by the coronavirus pandemic and widespread COVID-19 illness, most automakers are offering existing customers financial assistance with existing leases and loans. These coronavirus car payment programs can help people whose jobs and income are threatened by or have been eliminated due to the outbreak.
At the same time, special coronavirus car deals attempt to persuade consumers that now is a good time to buy a vehicle They range from long-term, low-rate financing to deferred payments for up to six months.
Every major car manufacturer has announced coronavirus car payment plans and programs, and most automakers are providing some kind of relief to existing customers as the auto industry strives to stave off the double-whammy of plunging new-vehicle sales and rampant car loan defaults and repossessions.
While the automakers’ COVID-19 programs of incentives and sales support were instituted quickly, they are not unprecedented.
"These types of programs have been tools OEMs have used many times over in economic downturns and for inventory control," said James Houston, J.D. Power Managing Director, Consumer Lending and Automotive Finance. "History shows us that automotive sales recover over time, and there will be less need to rely on these types of programs."
But in times of economic uncertainty, auto manufacturers can't wait for the tide to turn. And even with the industry’s rapid response to the coronavirus pandemic, sales during the first six weeks of the pandemic took a significant hit, with some automakers reporting more than a 50% drop in sales.