Filed under: Car Buying , Marketing/Advertising , Chevrolet , Ford , GM , GMC , Hummer , Lincoln , Mercury , Pontiac , Saturn , Toyota When General Motors put down several of its brands in recent years, it also let loose thousands of brand-loyal customers who will eventually need another car. R.L. Polk Associates estimates there are more than 18 million cars from 16 discontinued makes on the road today. Those ” orphan owners” have sales-hungry competitors seeing dollar signs. GM is offering Saturn owners $1,000 cash toward a Chevy Cruze , Caddillac CTS or a GMC Acadia . Ford is giving its Mercury lease customers a chance to get out of their contracts with no early-termination penalty and offering to waive six remaining payments if they drive off in a Ford or Lincoln . Edmunds.com research shows the efforts are paying off somewhat for GM, with 39 percent of Pontiac owners, 37 percent of Hummer owners and 31 percent of Saturn owners taking delivery of another GM-branded vehicle. But that leaves as much as 69 percent of owners going elsewhere. Ford, Honda and Toyota seem to be attracting many former GM owners. As Forbes points out, if you’re driving an orphaned nameplate, you just might be able to use that to your advantage when shopping for a new vehicle.
Filed under: Car Buying , Honda , Nissan , Toyota Japanese automakers are turning to new lease programs in an effort to lock down buyers who may stray to other automakers due to a lower-than-average supply of popular models. Toyota , Honda and Nissan are still in the process of restoring production to pre-earthquake levels, and as a result, buyers may not find the exact model they are looking for on dealer lots. Honda has authorized its dealers to extend current lease customers’ arrangements by up to six months. Additionally, the company is offering $500 to drivers who move from an old lease into a new one and promising to honor current incentives if buyers commit to an unavailable model. The automaker calls the effort the Honda Promise Program. But Honda isn’t the only company sweetening its deals. Automotive News reports that Toyota is extending its lease offers by six months and handing out a coupon worth $750 to customers who return to lease another Toyota product. Nissan is offering dirt-cheap lease options for its most popular model – the Altima . Buyers can snap up the sedan for $179 per month for two years. Manufacturers are also pushing for better lease deals due to a dearth of quality used vehicles this season.