Chevrolet Coronavirus Financial Relief and New Car Incentives

Jeff Youngs | May 11, 2020

As the most popular brand at America’s largest automaker, Chevrolet serves an important role for General Motors (GM) and, it could be argued, for the U.S. auto industry as a whole. After all, in times of hardship and crisis, we look to leaders for guidance. With the coronavirus continuing to wreak havoc on daily routines, the job market, and financial markets alike, GM and its Chevrolet brand have announced a number of initiatives to help both consumers and America’s frontline healthcare workers and, by extension, those afflicted with the disease.

Chevrolet Coronavirus Financial Relief and New Car Incentives

To help in the fight against the deadly coronavirus, GM has converted its Warren, MI, facility to produce much-needed surgical-grade face masks for healthcare workers. At maximum capacity, the facility can produce up to 50,000 masks per day, or approximately 1.5 million each month. Soon, the company will fire up a new line that will produce filtering facepiece respirators. GM is also working with partners to source and manufacture ventilators at its Kokomo, IN, plant. The automaker is working with Ventec Life Systems to produce the Ventec V+Pro ventilators for seriously ill patients.

On the traditional side of the business, Chevrolet is making it safer and easier for customers to purchase a new car, truck or SUV via its “Shop. Click. Drive.” initiative. An online shopping method, Shop Click Drive allows buyers to find a new vehicle, choose extended warranties, and schedule delivery at home or elsewhere. Chevrolet is also offering its existing customers assistance with coronavirus car payment plans and other helpful services, while potential buyers enjoy numerous financing, discount, and payment deferral programs.

Chevrolet Customer Relief Programs - Find the best deals!

To help existing customers who might have trouble making their car payments due to illness or financial distress caused by job loss, Chevrolet is waiving certain late fees on loans and leases from March 1 to May 31. If this applies to you, the company has stated that there is no action required on your part and thus no need to contact customer service; the fees will be automatically waived.

Also, existing customers who financed through GM Financial (GMF) can request payment deferral. Customers are asked to contact GMF to pursue this avenue, though the company points out that late payment might be a better option so as not to accrue additional interest. For existing lease customers, Chevrolet is offering an automatic one-month lease extension if you are nearing the end of your lease.

As an added perk, the company is making its OnStar Crisis Assist services available to Chevrolet owners at no cost for a limited time. Crisis Assist provides access to specially trained advisors who are available around the clock to assist in an emergency or crisis situation. Additionally, Chevrolet is providing owners with three months of complimentary in-vehicle Wi-Fi service at no charge, with a data limit of 3GB. Owners can access their data through the Wi-Fi hotspot in their vehicle, if so equipped.

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Chevrolet New Car Incentives - Find the best deals!

Chevrolet already had a healthy dose of incentives on most of its vehicles before the onset of the coronavirus, but drastic times call for drastic measures. 

In an unprecedented move, Chevrolet is offering on many of its models 0% APR financing for 84 months to “very well-qualified buyers,” plus no monthly payments for 120 days when you finance with GM Financial. The special rate and payment deferral incentive is valid for most 2019 models as well as the 2020 Equinox, Silverado 1500, and Trax. Note that customers must take delivery by June 1, 2020, and the payment deferral does not apply to leases.

In addition to the aforementioned 84-month, zero-interest promotion, Chevrolet has a sign-and-drive deal that consists of no money down, no security deposit, and no payment the first month. You simply pay tax, title, license and dealer fees and off you go. Only those with good credit will qualify, however.

Also, to help those on the frontlines, the Chevrolet First Responder Discount is extended to healthcare professionals through June 30, 2020. If this pertains to you, your local Chevrolet dealer can provide pricing.

Chevrolet Factory Closures - Find the best deals!

To ensure the safety of its workers and adjust vehicle production to current levels of demand, GM on March 18 announced that it would begin to shut its manufacturing operations in North America. “GM and the UAW have always put the health and safety of the people entering GM plants first, and we have agreed to a systematic, orderly suspension of production to aid in fighting COVID-19/coronavirus,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.

Initially, the shutdown was to be in effect until March 30, but as the COVID-19 situation worsened the automaker was forced to extend the suspension. As of this writing, production in North American assembly plants is scheduled to resume on May 18.

This is a significant development not only for Chevrolet and GM, but for America due to the numbers involved. In the U.S. alone, GM has 11 vehicle assembly plants, 10 propulsion facilities, five metal centers, four components holding facilities, one tooling center, and one battery assembly facility. All told, the closures represent hundreds of thousands of people out of work, and not all are getting paid. At that scale, it has a significant effect on the economy.

Factory closures in other regions of the world are also affecting Chevrolet models. In particular, production of the company’s new Trailblazer SUV, which is built in South Korea, has been knee-capped by both the virus and parts shortages.

Chevrolet Economic Outlook & Sales Forecast - Find the best deals!

While Cadillac may be GM’s prestige brand, at the end of the day, Chevrolet is much more important to the company’s bottom line.

All things considered, Chevrolet weathered the coronavirus-induced sales downturn in the first quarter rather well, compared to most other brands. For the quarter, Chevrolet sales were only down 3.8 percent, compared with a decline of 7.1 percent for GM and more than 12 percent for the industry. GM says strong sales of pickup trucks and SUVs during the last two weeks of March, after the deals above were put into place, shored up sales.

Clearly, things could have been worse. And that’s good news for GM. Because if Chevrolet coughs, GM catches a cold (or, more appropriately, a nasty virus).

Like other automakers, Chevrolet is unwilling to make official predictions about how the pandemic will affect its annual sales. Industrywide, J.D. Power predicts a decline from its pre-virus estimate of 16.9 million units in 2020 to between 12.6 million and 14.5 million.

Looking ahead, Chevrolet is well positioned to hit the ground running when the economy opens back up. Americans love their trucks and gas is cheap, both of which play to Chevy’s strengths.

The information in this article is from Chevrolet and was accurate as of May 8, 2020. Plans and programs may have changed since that date. Be sure to confirm with Chevrolet that offers discussed in this article remain valid.

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