Toyota Coronavirus Financial R...

Jack R. Nerad | March 30, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic havoc has prompted Toyota to undertake a number of steps to help its customers buy vehicles, to assemble medical and personal protective equipment, and to provide aid to the communities it serves.

Toyota Coronavirus Financial Relief and New Car Incentives

With the peak of coronavirus infections in the United States still thought to be weeks away, many states and localities have instituted severe restrictions on business operations and personal interaction. While this slows the pace of infection, at the same time it has severely limited commerce. The situation has turned markedly from just one month ago when the auto industry was enjoying one of its best February sales months in history.

Toyota is one of many carmakers that seeks to do its part to halt the epidemic and help heal the sick, while at the same time trying to keep its employees working and operate its business. Here is a recap of the coronavirus financial relief and new car incentives Toyota has assembled to deal with the crisis.

Toyota Customer Relief Programs - Find the best deals!

Toyota's finance partners Toyota Financial Services (TFS) and Lexus Financial Services (LFS) are providing payment relief options to customers who are affected by COVID-19, adding its name to the list of OEMs providing Coronavirus Car Payment Plans.

Current customers whose ability to keep up with their car loan or lease payments is threatened by illness or lack of income may be eligible to take advantage of finance contract payment extensions or lease deferred payments. Both TFS and LFS are also providing options to assist customers at or near the end of their lease who are impacted by the pandemic.

Customers who would like to understand their account and payment options are encouraged to contact TFS or LFS by phone or email. Toyota Financial Services customers may call 800-874-8822 or contact TFS via email using the mail center function after logging into Lexus Financial Services customers may call 800-874-7050 or contact LFS via email using the mail center function after logging into

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Toyota New Car Incentives - Find the best deals!

Unlike many automakers, Toyota has not announced any national low-interest financing, rebates, deferred payments or any other incentives on its vehicles. Instead, the Toyota brand pulled its March "sales event" advertising and started running a new national ad campaign "We're here for you" with an optimistic message looking to the future beyond COVID-19. Lexus has also released its own advertising theme designed to reassure luxury customers that the brand puts "People First."

At the same time business goes on, though not as usual, it also includes regional and local promotions that vary by area.

In some regions, buyers can defer their first monthly payment for 90 days on vehicles that include Toyota Camry midsize sedan, Corolla compact sedan, Corolla Hybrid compact sedan, and Tacoma midsize pickup. Toyota’s RAV4 compact SUV and Mirai fuel-cell sedan are among the vehicles that have special incentives in specific areas of the country.

Check with Toyota's website or with your local dealer to determine what incentives are available in your area.

Toyota Factory Closures - Find the best deals!

Citing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and what it called a "significant decline in vehicle demand," Toyota has suspended production at all of its automobile and components plants in North America, including Canada, Mexico and the U.S. The current plan is that manufacturing facilities will remain closed through April 17, resuming production on April 20. During the manufacturing hiatus, Toyota's service parts depots and vehicle logistics centers will continue to operate.

Toyota operates significant design, engineering, and assembly facilities in North America, and since opening its first factory in the region has built more than 40 million cars and trucks on this continent, including 10 factories in the U.S. Toyota directly employs more than 47,000 people (over 36,000 in the U.S.) and more than 25,000 are affected by the plant closures.

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

The rapid onset of the coronavirus crisis is certain to have a negative effect on total vehicle sales and on Toyota's vehicle sales in 2020. What remains to be seen is how long the drastic decline in economic activity will last and what the long-range effects of it will be. Toyota has made no public statements on the effects the crisis would have on U.S. vehicle sales and its sales for 2020.

According to Tyson Jominy, vice president of Data and Analytics at J.D. Power, both the virus and its effect on new vehicle sales are expected to grow in severity through the end of April. The progression will vary across the country with some markets several weeks behind others.

Beyond the inherent uncertainty of the virus’s progression, a key determinant of auto sales will be legal restrictions on dealership sales operations and consumer activity and movement. Because of this multi-faceted uncertainty, J.D. Power's March retail sales outlook is for a range of between 669,000 and 948,000 new vehicles. That range represents a decline of 16% to 41%, respectively, from March 2019. Some 14% to 39% of the decline is attributable to virus effects.

While this portends a major drop versus 2019 sales, there are some hopeful factors. The auto industry has historically demonstrated an ability to recoup sales lost due to short-term disruptions, so the auto industry has the potential to recover from the virus-related sales disruption, Jominy said.

J.D. Power believes the number of sales that will be recouped will be influenced by the general economic environment that exists after the virus has passed. Its pre-virus 2020 outlook of 16.8 million U.S. light-vehicle sales is no longer attainable, with sales likely to fall in the range of 14 to 16 million units.

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