The great minds of the corporate world encourage companies to find opportunity in crisis. As psychotherapist Mel Schwartz notes in Psychology Today, "Crisis and opportunity are merely differing aspects of the process."
Or two sides of the same coin.
Speaking of coin, General Motors has been listening to this "opportunity in crisis" advice, and the result is a big pile of money on the table for certain buyers – buyers who own a vehicle from a discontinued GM brand or model, such as the Chevrolet Cobalt.
The Cobalt, of course, is one of the models at the centre of GM's current ignition switch recall crisis. The opportunity for buyers comes in the form of what amounts to as much as a 25 per cent discount on, say, a new Chevy Cruze compact. The offers have been unkindly described by The Wall Street Journal as GM's own version of a "cash-for-clunkers" program. Regardless, they may help GM appease angry or worried owners.
"GM Canada is offering between $1,500 and $4,500 in loyalty discounts to recall-affected car owners. These discounts can be combined with any current financing or lease offers, which translates to outstanding deals for the consumer," says Shari Prymak of the buying and pricing service Car Help Canada.
Andrew Tai, CEO and co-founder of another pricing service, Unhaggle.com, notes that in Canada, the rich spring loyalty programs that specifically target car owners involved in the ignition-switch recall stand out as "GM Canada's primary strategy to assist and compensate the affected customers to keep them in the GM family."
The numbers: Owners of recall-affected Cobalts who lease a new Chevy Cruze could get as much as $4,300 in factory discounts, plus a negotiated dealer discount that could reach $800, plus a zero per cent lease rate for 24, 36, or 48 months, plus a gas card that guarantees fuel at a fixed price of $0.40 a litre for up to 800 litres. All that on a Cruze that stickers for $19,495. So yes, basically a 25 per cent price cut, plus free leasing, plus cheap gas for half a year or so.
Loyalty incentives are nothing new and certainly not limited to car companies battling the recall blues. Acura, for instance, has a $1,000 loyalty bonus on the MDX sport-utility, and it can be combined with $5,250 in factory incentives, plus perhaps as much as $3,000 or more in negotiated dealer discounts. So about $9,500 in potential sales sweeteners on a $59,990 premium SUV. And $3,500 of the factory money can be combined with 3.9 per cent financing for 48 or 60 months.
Audi, meantime, has $1,200 in loyalty money for A4 buyers, plus $3,000 in a manufacturer incentive. And while BMW doesn't have a loyalty plan for owners of old M6 convertibles, if you want a new one, the factory has a $15,000 factory bonus in play.
Deals of the Week consulted with www.unhaggle.com, Car Help Canada, www.carcostcanada.com, and other sources on these offers. As usual, pricing information here is subject to change and dealer discounts vary, so consult your dealer for all the final details, including expiry dates for all offers.
2014 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT
- MSRP: $19,495
- Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,700
- Dealer discount (estimated): $800
- Factory discount: $1,800 (manufacturer incentive: lease cash)
- Taxable subtotal: $18,595
- Total price with 13% HST: $21,012.35
- Factory discount: $1,500 (Loyalty manufacturer incentive for discontinued brands, including Chevrolet Cobalt and HHR)
- Factory discount: $500 (GM Auto Show Bonus in select markets)
- Factory discount: $500 (GM Student Bonus or Military Program factory-to-consumer rebate)
- Final price: $18,512.35
- 0.00% lease rate for 24, 36 or 48 months is available with manufacturer incentives. GM is also offering a Fuel Savings Card program that provides for $.40/litre for 800 litres.
2014 Acura MDX AWD with Technology Package
- MSRP: $59,990
- Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $2,130
- Dealer discount (estimated): $3,000
- Factory discount: $5,250 (manufacturer incentive)
- Factory discount: $1,000 (loyalty rebate)
- Taxable subtotal: $52,870
- Total price with 13% HST: $59,743.10
- 3.90% financing for 48 or 60 months available with $3,500 in factory incentives
2014 BMW M6 Convertible
- MSRP: $136,075
- Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $2,230
- Dealer discount (estimated): $5,200
- Factory discount: $15,000 (manufacturer incentive)
- Taxable subtotal: $118,105
- Total price with 13% HST: $133,458.65
- 2.90% financing for 48 or 60 moths is not available with factory incentives.
2014 Audi A4 4 door Sedan Komfort quattro, manual
- MSRP: $39,900
- Freight, PDI, AC tax: $2,130
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,600
- Factory discount: $3,000 (manufacturer incentive)
- Factory discount: $1,200 (loyalty incentive)
- Taxable subtotal: $36,230
- Total price with 13% HST: $40,939.90
- Factory incentive is not available with 0.99% financing for 48 or 60 months
Pricing information source: unhaggle.com and 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. Where noted, "dealer discounts" are negotiated with the customer on a case-by-case basis. Unhaggle Savings are actual discounts received by Unhaggle customers.
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