Lexus Coronavirus Financial Re...

Jeff Youngs | April 10, 2020

In the midst of the worst pandemic since the Spanish Flu of 1918, certain industries are having a rougher go than others. Indeed, the coronavirus that is currently ravaging most parts of the globe and threatening the lives and livelihood of millions of citizens is having the same devastating effect on the U.S. auto industry. With sales down and inventories up, both automakers and new car dealers alike are scrambling to earn new customers and, just as important, keep their existing customers in good standing.

Lexus Coronavirus Financial Relief and New Car Incentives

One of many automakers facing the challenge is Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), which also markets and sells Lexus luxury cars and SUVs. TMNA has a major presence in the U.S., with 10 vehicle assembly and parts manufacturing plants and nearly 1,500 dealerships throughout the country. It also employs more than 36,000 people in the U.S. Needless to say, the automaker has a vested interest in how both of its car brands fare in this country.

To protect that interest and its customers, TMNA is offering coronavirus financial relief and new car incentives for both its Toyota and Lexus brand vehicles. Following is a rundown of Lexus programs and incentives to help customers.

Lexus Customer Relief Programs - Find the best deals!

For existing customers that need assistance, payment relief options are available to both finance and lease customers who are affected by COVID-19, provided they purchased or leased their vehicle through Lexus Financial Services (LFS).

Finance customers may be eligible for contract payment extensions, while leasing customers may be able to defer payments. The deferrals, which can be up to 90 days, apply to both new and certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle purchases. Only customers with good credit (Tiers 1-3) will qualify for payment deferrals. LFS is also providing options to assist customers whose leases are ending or will be soon.

For new customers, LFS is offering payment deferrals for both new and CPO vehicle purchases.

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Lexus New Car Incentives - Find the best deals!

While Lexus has not announced any national incentives as a direct result of the COVID-19 health emergency, the company is addressing the issue with a “People First” campaign, not only for customers but also for employees and the communities in which they live and work.

Any and all Lexus incentives and special offers that were already in effect at the onset of the pandemic are still available to customers. Offers vary by region, so be sure to check the Lexus consumer website for deals in your area. You can also contact your local retailer to see if they can offer any additional incentives as inventory piles up.

For customers concerned about the associated risks involved with going to the dealership right now, rest assured that most Lexus retailers can handle the entire sales transaction remotely or at a location of your choosing. Some dealers are even offering contactless service for items such as oil changes and tire rotations. Another aspect of the People First campaign is the payment relief program discussed earlier.

Lexus Factory Closures - Find the best deals!

Toyota Motor North America first announced on March 18 that it would temporarily suspend production at all of its automobile and components plants in North America, with a planned reopening set for March 25. Due to ongoing concerns related to COVID-19 and the associated drop in new-vehicle demand, the automaker has extended the plant closures on three separate occasions and now plans to resume operations on May 4.

Not all Toyota operations are shut, however. The automaker has said that its service parts depots and finished vehicle logistics centers will remain open to meet the ongoing needs of customers. Additionally, while the company won’t be building cars, trucks and SUVs in the immediate future, Toyota is using several of its North American facilities to fabricate 3-D printed face shields to aid medical device companies with the manufacture of ventilators, respirators, and other vitally needed equipment for hospitals.

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

Lexus is, in its own right, a major player in the U.S. luxury auto market, once the top dog but since surpassed by BMW and Mercedes-Benz in annual sales. Though no longer the U.S. luxury auto sales king, Lexus has consistently been one of the top-selling brands in the premium vehicle market, selling just over 298,000 vehicles in each of the last two years here in America.

The brand was off to a decent start in 2020, but like every other automaker, the coronavirus and subsequent dip in dealer showroom traffic had Lexus sales gasping for air as the first quarter drew to a close. Lexus sold only 15,585 vehicles in March – a 46.7% decline from the same month the previous year – and ended the first quarter down 15.6% on sales of 56,345 units.

Based on J.D. Power’s revised forecast, which now sees total U.S. light-vehicle sales for 2020 coming in anywhere between 12.1 and 14.8 million units, Lexus is facing a potential sales decrease of nearly 60,000 units. That hurts. Nevertheless, Lexus SUV and crossover sales are on the upswing, which bodes well in an SUV-crazed country.

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