Sales at Mercedes-Benz were up a whopping 18.7 per cent in April. That number looks astounding beside BMW sales, which were down six per cent last month. Meanwhile, Audi sales nudged up ever so slightly, at 0.7 per cent.
If you're looking for reasons why, consider Merc's C-Class. Sales of the C were up 34.1 per cent, driven in large part by a package of hugely generous and somewhat complicated offers that officially were set to expire April 30 (so be sure to check with your dealer).
The richest offer is being called the B-Class $4,500 Loyalty Bonus factory-to-customer rebate, and it's applied to the after-tax amount. According to www.carcostcanada.com, this rebate is actually worth $3,000, however; it comes with a $1,500 dealer participation fee. Moreover, it applies to B-Class owners "with a 2012 lease maturity date and to 2009 finance and purchase customers purchasing or leasing a new eligible 2012 C-Class and GLK-Class vehicle."
That's not all. The deal comes with a free set of Pirelli winter tires and a 25 per cent discount on all Mercedes accessories. On top of that, a $2,200 4MATIC 4ALL factory-to-dealer credit is in play, though like the $4,500 offer, a dealer participation fee makes this deal worth just $1,200.
Here's an interesting note. Most Mercedes vehicles in Canada are sold through factory-owned stores. Thus Mercedes, in most cases, is paying a dealer participation fee to itself.
Oh, and Mercedes Canada also has a couple of so-called "pull-ahead" programs in place. They are aimed at current lease-holders who want to re-up early. If you want out of your current Merc lease, you might be able to jump into another with a lease reduction rate bonus of 0.75 per cent.
Now you know why their sales were up so dramatically in April. Mercedes-Benz, the deal-making luxury brand from Stuttgart.
Then there's Ford. Specifically, the Focus compact car. April sales of 2,592 represented a year-on-year increase of 38 per cent. Naturally, you can expect to find Ford of Canada putting some serious incentive muscle behind this stylish and entertaining little car – sold in both sedan and hatchback versions.
Ford of Canada is offering a deal worth $3,000 for those who opt for a 73-month finance term or greater and allow the dealer to set up the financing with someone other than Ford Credit. If, however, you want the 0.0 per cent Ford Credit offer for up to 72 months, then you can also negotiate for a $750 Delivery Allowance factory-to-dealer rebate.
Next on the list is the 2012 Nissan Altima. An all-new Altima is coming later this year, so if you're expecting a sweet deal on the outgoing model, step right up and take advantage of offers that drove Altima sales to an increase of 56.9 per cent in April.
The deal: If you pay cash, you can combine the $2,665 in Employee Pricing discounts to the $3,000 in non-stackable trading dollars. That's a $5,665 saving on, say, a $28,498 Altima 3.5 S with an automatic gearbox – plus whatever dealer discount you might be able to swing.
Finally, Hyundai's Tucson compact SUV is an interesting case. With so many rivals launching new competitors to the Tucson (the Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V to name three), Hyundai needs to keep its popular little wagon in the game. The offer on a $26,599 Tucson GL with automatic is $2,500, and that money can be combined with Hyundai's 3.25 per cent Smart Lease rate offer for a term that lasts almost forever if you so choose – 96 months.
As usual, Deals of the Week obtained pricing information from www.carcostcanada.com, among other sources. Here are the numbers.
2012 Mercedes-Benz C250 4MATIC
- MSRP: $39,990
- Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $2,095
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,800
- Factory discount: $1,200 (4MATIC for 4ALL credit factory-to-dealer incentive – officially set to expire April 30)
- Taxable subtotal: $39,085
- Total price with 13% HST: $44,166.05
- Factory discount: $3,000 (B-Class loyalty bonus factory-to-customer rebate – officially due to expire April 30)
- Final price: $41,166.05
- B-Class deal also includes no-charge Pirelli tires and a 25% discount on Mercedes-Benz accessories.
2012 Ford Focus Titanium hatchback
- MSRP: $25,099
- Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,600
- Dealer discount (estimated): $900
- Factory discount: $3,000 (73-month term or greater extended term factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Taxable subtotal: $22,799
- Total price with 13% HST: $25,762.87
2012 Nissan Altima 3.5 S CVT:
- Freight, dealer prep, A/C tax: $1,795
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,000
- Factory discount: $3,000 (Non-stackable trading dollars factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Factory discount: $2,665 (Nissan employee pricing event stackable discount factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Taxable subtotal: $23,628
- Total price with 13% HST: $26,699.64
2012 Hyundai Tucson GL automatic AWD:
- MSRP: $26,599
- Freight, dealer prep, A/C tax: $1,860
- Dealer discount (estimated): $800
- Factory discount: $2,500 (Dealer cash factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Taxable subtotal: $25,159
- Total price with 13% HST: $28,429.67
- Note: 3.25 per cent financing for up to 96 months.
Pricing information source: 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.