A former president of Mercedes-Benz Canada once told me: “This business is all tactical.” Indeed.
Tactical in that car dealers and their manufacturers constantly monitor sales in their own stores, while keeping an eye on what’s happening down the road at the competition – and react accordingly. Fast. With rapid-fire tactics. The moment they see a need to launch a tactical strike here or there, the salvos start.
Thus, BMW Canada has slapped on a whopping $15,000 discount on the racy X5 M sport-utility vehicle. Why? Look at what’s arriving at Jaguar Land Rover dealers across Canada: the newly reinvented 2014 Range Rover and 2014 Range Rover Sport.
Some analysts believe that Land Rover’s newest utilities are bumpers and hoods and horsepower above anything the Germans have to offer. Perhaps that explains the $15,000 on the priciest and fastest X5, and incentives of up to $7,500 on lesser X5s. The X5 M lists for $98,500, therefore cash in the glovebox amounting to more than 15 per cent off the sticker price is a big deal. Tactical discounting in action.
Something similar is at work over at Subaru. The 2014 Forester is in showrooms now and it’s selling well. Still, some Subaru dealers want to clear leftover 2013s off the lot. To rid them of an old model, Subaru Canada has upped the ante: a 2013 Forester XT Limited is now available with a $4,000 cash purchase incentive, or $3,500 on all other trims, notes Andrew Tai of unhaggle.com, a pricing and buying service website. Subaru was offering just $1,500 here last December.
At Toyota’s Lexus luxury brand, the tactic on the GS350 is all about spurring interest in a model that isn’t resonating with buyers. Barely a year ago, the GS was restyled and reengineered, yet “Lexus has increased the cash purchase incentive to $3,000 in June from $2,000 in May. It’s rare to see such aggressive discounting so soon after a new design and without another model facelift on the horizon anytime soon,” says Tai. Unusual but not unheard of when a car company and its dealers have a slow-selling model like the GS.
At Volkswagen, the Passat mid-size sedan has generally done well in Canada over the last 12-18 months, though of late VW Canada has seen demand slow. Sure enough, at the start of June VW Canada “introduced a $4,000 cash purchase incentive on the Passat 3.6L model, $2,000 on the 2.5L model, and $1,500 on the TDI model,” says unhaggle.com’s Tai. The Passat competes against some excellent cars, including the Nissan Altima, Honda Accord and Ford Fusion all of which were reinvented for 2013. The new money from VW suggests the Passat is in a tough struggle, thus it’s time to pull out the incentive artillery.
Deals of the Week consulted with unhaggle.com and other sources on these offers, including carcostcanada.com. As usual, pricing information here is subject to change, so consult your dealer for all the final details, including expiry dates for all offers.
2013 BMW X5 M
- MSRP: $98,500
- Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax, Green Levy: $3,095
- Factory discount: $15,000 (cash purchases only)
- Dealer discount (estimated): $4,000
- Taxable subtotal: $82,595
- Total price with 13% HST: $93,332.25
2013 Subaru Forester 2.5XT Limited Auto
- MSRP: $35,895
- Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,730
- Factory discount: $4,000 (cash purchases only)
- Unhaggle savings: $2,463
- Total savings: $6,463
- Taxable subtotal: $31,162
- Total price with 13% HST: $35,213.06
2013 Lexus GS350 RWD
- MSRP: $51,900
- Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $2,130
- Factory discount: $3,000 (cash purchases only)
- Unhaggle savings: $3,202
- Total savings: $6,202
- Taxable subtotal: $47,828
- Total price with 13% HST: $54,045.64
2013 Volkswagen Passat 3.6L DSG Highline
- MSRP: $36,575
- Freight, PDI: $1,530
- Factory discount: $4,000 (Manufacturer’s Incentive cash purchases only)
- Unhaggle savings: $1,709
- Total savings: $5,709
- Taxable subtotal: $32,396
- Total price with 13% HST: $36,607.48
Pricing information source: www.unhaggle.com and www.carcostcanada.com. Calculations based on Ontario customers. Please note that while the information above is accurate at the time of publication, incentives are given at the discretion of individual dealers, and may be changed or discontinued at any time. Dealer discounts are negotiated with the customer on a case-by-case basis.