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Sales sweeteners help push auto sales to record levels

Through the first nine months of this years, Canadians are on a record pace to buy more than two million new light vehicles. The market is on fire, says auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.

How to explain this? Certainly there is pent-up demand in a post-recession Canada – the fleet is aging and old rides need to be replaced with new ones. And prices of good, late-model and middle-age used cars are fairly high, too.

But the tall thinkers of economics and market trends usually do not give enough weight to the effects of the unprecedented level of sales incentives in Canada today. Car companies from Acura to Volvo are throwing massive piles of money at buyers to entice them to take the plunge.

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It does not take a PhD to figure out that if you slice and dice the sticker price of a car in head-spinning ways, and then add on zero per cent financing for up to 84 months, the buyer will take the plunge.

Consider the 2015 Kia Forte subcompact sedan. This is a good little runabout and you can have it for $500 off the sticker and with a likely $850 dealer discount – and Kia will lend you the money for 84 months, interest-free. If you want a small car, how can you not take a long look at this deal?

Or Mercedes-Benz. The 350 4Matic coupe has a $1,500 factory discount on the table, plus a dealer discount of $2,100 or more, depending on how you negotiate. And you should haggle for this one. More than half of the volume Mercedes-Benz sells in Canada is moved through company stores, so the dealer discount here is in essence a factory discount. Take the money and 1.9 per cent financing for up to 60 months.

Scion? The sporty tC coupe has more than $1,000 in combined discounts that can be combined with 1.99 per cent financing for 48 months. And Audi's popular Q5 SUV is on offer with about $4,000 is discounts and 3.9 per cent financing for up to 84 months. Who would have thought any German manufacturer would be getting into the 84-month financing game.

Sure, a handful of factors are driving record sales in Canada, but first among them are the sales sweeteners that have buyers licking their lips and taking the money.

Deals of the Week consulted with unhaggle.com, Car Help Canada, 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.

2015 Kia Forte four-door sedan Auto EX w/Sunroof

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  • MSRP: $23,195
  • Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,620
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $850
  • Factory discount: $1,500 (manufacturer incentive)
  • Taxable subtotal: $22,465
  • Total price with 13 per cent HST: $25,385.45

A $500 cash incentive is available with zero per cent financing for 48, 60 or 84 months, or a lease rate of 1.9 per cent for 48 months or 3.9 per cent for 60 months.

2015 Scion tC. Toyota Toyota  

2015 Scion tC two-door Auto

  • MSRP: $22,790
  • Freight, dealer prep, fees and air conditioning tax: $1,830
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $550
  • Factory discount: $500
  • Taxable subtotal: $23,570
  • Total price with 13 per cent HST: $26,634.10

Cash incentive is available with 1.99 per cenet financing for 48 months, 2.99 per cent for 60 months or 3.99 per cent for 84 months. Cash incentive available with 2.99 per cent lease rate for 48 or 60 months.

Mercedes-Benz C350 Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz  

2015 Mercedes-Benz C350 4MATIC Coupe

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  • MSRP: $51,450
  • Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $2,210
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $2,100
  • Factory discount: $1,500 (manufacturer incentive)
  • Taxable subtotal: $50,060
  • Total price with 13 per cent HST: $56,567.80

Factory incentives are available with 1.9 per cent financing for 48 or 60 months or a 6.4 per cent lease rate for 45 months. Loyalty reduction of 0.5 per cent available with lease and finance rates.

Audi Q5 Audi Audi  

2015 Audi Q5 quattro four-door 3.0T Technik

  • MSRP: $50,800
  • Freight, PDI, AC tax: $2,230
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $2,400
  • Factory discount: $1,000 (manufacturer incentive)
  • Factory discount: $500 (loyalty bonus)
  • Taxable subtotal: $49,130
  • Total price with 13 per cent HST: $55,516.90

Factory incentives are available with 3.9 per cent financing for 48, 60 or 84 months or a 4.9 per cent lease rate for 48 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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