Honda Coronavirus Financial Re...

Jack R. Nerad | March 31, 2020

Honda has constructed a multi-part effort to combat the sudden downturn in the American car market caused by the coronavirus. Among its efforts are new sales incentives, deferred payment options and even special deals on certified pre-owned vehicles. Since the pandemic has not yet run its course, the next few weeks might be an uphill battle, but by giving consumers new reasons to buy vehicles now, Honda is expected to retain its position as one of the nation’s most-purchased brands.

Honda Offers Coronavirus Financial Relief and New Car Incentives

Below you’ll find a detailed summary of the coronavirus financial relief and new car incentives Honda has announced as the nation deals with the current crisis.

Honda Customer Relief Programs - Find the best deals!

Honda Financial Services (HFS) is offering individualized assistance to current customers who anticipate difficulty in making their monthly payments, adding its name to the list of manufacturers coming up with Coronavirus Car Payment Plans.

Existing customers who purchased or leased a new vehicle could be eligible for payment extensions and deferrals of up to 60 days as well as late-fee waivers. HFS account holders who need extra assistance due to the COVID-19 situation are advised to contact their regional service center for individualized help. Representatives are trained and able to assist.

To ease call volume in the crisis, HFS account holders with general account questions are encouraged to take advantage of online self-service capabilities for routine payment and account management functions.

Current Honda owners and lessees who did not finance their vehicle or obtain their lease through Honda Financial Services are urged to contact their lender or leasing company directly. Many of these can assist with various forms of payment relief. Discussing the situation with them is a good first step toward understanding the options available.

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Honda New Car Incentives - Find the best deals!

With job security a top-of-mind concern, Honda is offering lengthy payment deferrals to those who purchase their vehicles soon. Honda's "90 Days to First Payment Program" features a 90-day deferral of the first payment on all new vehicle sales financed by Honda Financial Services for retail customers. The offer is for customers who meet financial qualifications, and it is not available in the state of Florida.

Honda's second program, "Loyalty Purchase Assistance Cash," offers $1,000 toward the purchase or lease of a new Honda model, although some models are excluded from the program. Honda has also announced special interest rates for certified pre-owned Honda Civic, Accord and CR-V models on deals made from April 17 to June 1, 2020.

Honda notes that while some of its dealers may make temporary changes to their schedules and services during this period, most Honda dealers are open for business and ready to support customers' sales, service, and parts needs.

Honda Factory Closures - Find the best deals!

In response to both health and supply chain concerns, Honda suspended production at its North American manufacturing facilities for six days beginning March 23 and subsequently extended that suspension an additional five production days. Production is now scheduled to resume on April 7.

Honda transmission and engine plants in North America that serve Honda auto assembly facilities have suspended production for the same period. In total the currently scheduled production suspensions will reduce production by about 70,000 vehicles.

Approximately 29,400 Honda workers in North America are affected by the temporary suspension of automobile, powersports products, and power equipment production. Honda has said it will continue full pay for all of its associates and contingent workers during this time.

As the market impact of the fast-changing COVID-19 situation evolves, Honda will continue to evaluate conditions and make additional adjustments as necessary. Honda will use the production downtime to continue the deep cleaning of its production facilities and common areas to further protect its workers upon their return to the plants.

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

Diminished overall economic activity and lost vehicle production are bound to affect Honda's vehicle sales in 2020 and total U.S. market sales as well. At the same time, it is too early to tell how long the dramatic decline in vehicle sales will continue. Asked about the prospects for overall U.S. vehicle sales and company sales for 2020, a Honda spokesperson had no comment.

From an overall market perspective, neither the health issues nor vehicle sales effects of the coronavirus pandemic virus have reached their peak in the United States. J.D. Power believes those effects will likely ripple across the country over the next several weeks hitting different markets at different times. A key determinant of auto sales will be legal restrictions on dealership sales operations and general consumer activity, said Tyson Jominy, vice president of Data and Analytics at J.D. Power.

J.D. Power's March retail sales outlook is for a decline of 16% to 41% from March 2019 with 14% to 39% percentage points of the decline directly attributable to the effects of the virus. The outlook for the entire year is somewhat brighter, though the situation contains a great deal of uncertainty. While its pre-virus 2020 outlook of 16.8 million light-vehicle sales in the U.S. is no longer attainable, J.D. Power forecasts sales will likely fall in the range of 14 to 16 million units for the calendar year.

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