Brands matter and consumers are generally willing to pay for the strongest ones in hard cash as reflected in higher sticker prices and lower discounts. The proof is in the numbers.
According to ALG's latest brand perception study, the Toyota brand is the second-strongest for perceived quality among all mainstream brands in Canada. Not surprisingly, Toyota offered an average of $856 in cash incentives in November, notes the pricing service Unhaggle.com.
Volkswagen, ranked third in ALG's brand perception of quality study, offered an average of just $1,287 in cash incentives during November. Interestingly, the outlier in the top three of the ALG study was Honda, which tends to price its vehicle slightly higher than many rival models.
Honda in November was offering $1,833 in incentives to Canadians. That was just less than half the average incentive of the most generous spiff-offering brand (Chrysler at $3,433), but relatively high compared to Toyota.
Weaker brands with lower perceived quality tend to offer richer incentives. Kia, for instance, is ranked well below average in ALG's brand perception of quality study. According to Unhaggle's incentive study, Kia Canada offered an average $2,728 in incentives during November. Only the Chrysler brand, which ranked slightly ahead of Kia in the ALG study, offered richer average incentives among mainstream brands last month.
Among premium brands, Volvo was ranked well below average for perceived quality in the ALG study. Volvo's November incentives averaged $2,599 – well above the $1,644 average for Audi, $1,714 for Lexus, $1,917 for BMW, $1,719 for Cadillac, and $1,267 for Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Lexus are all ranked well above average for perceived quality in the ALG study.
Deals of the Week went looking for sales sweeteners of interest among weaker brands. Hyundai's Genesis, which offers tremendous value in a high-quality model from a weaker brand, was reinvented in the summer but remains on offer with a $3,000 factory discount, part of which can be combined with zero per cent financing for 48 or 60 months. Great deal.
Volvo's 2015 Volvo V60 T5 wagon is another example of an excellent product from a weak brand – with the expected discounts. The savvy buyer should be able to negotiate $4,000 or more in combined dealer and factory discounts here.
Of course there are exceptions. Kia may find itself offering relatively strong discounts overall, but not on the redesigned Soul which here wears a modest $500 factory spiff.
Finally, Ford's 2015 F-Series pickup is in play with up to $9,000-plus in combined factory and dealer discounts. That's rich given Ford averaged just $1,541 in factory discounts in November and among mainstream brands boasted above average perceived quality.
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.
2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan Luxury
- MSRP: $48,000
- Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $2,130
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,900
- Factory discount: $3,000 (Manufacturer incentive)
- Taxable subtotal: $45,230
- Total price with 13 per cent HST: $51,109.90
- A $1,000 factory incentive is available with zero per cent financing for 48 or 60 months, while a $2,000 factory spiff is available with a 2.99 per cent lease rate for 48 months.
2015 Kia Soul Wagon Automatic EX+
- MSRP: $22,195
- Freight, dealer prep, fees and air conditioning tax: $1,800
- Dealer discount (estimated): $600
- Factory discount: $500 (manufacturer incentive)
- Taxable subtotal: $22,895
- Total price with 13 per cent HST: $25,871.35
- A 1.49 per cent finance rate is available for 48 or 60 months, but it cannot be stacked with the factory incentive. A 1.9 per cent lease rate for 48 months is not available with the factory money, either.
2015 Volvo V60 Wagon T5 Premier 4WD
- MSRP: $44,000
- Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,950
- Dealer discount (estimated): $2,375
- Factory discount: $1,000 (manufacturer incentive)
- Factory discount: $1,000 (loyalty bonus)
- Taxable subtotal: $41,575
- Total price with 13 per cent HST: $46,979.75
- Factory incentives are available with a 2.9 per cent finance rate for 48 or 60 months, or a 1.9 per cent lease rate for 48 months.
2015 Ford F-150 4WD SuperCrew Styleside 5.5 ft Lariat
- MSRP: $53,799
- Freight, PDI, AC tax: $1,835
- Dealer discount (estimated): $4,700
- Factory discount: $4,500 (manufacturer incentive)
- Taxable subtotal: $46,434
- Total price with 13 per cent HST: $52,470.42
- Factory incentives are available with a 2.4 per cent finance rate for 48 or 60 months.
. 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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