Looking To Buy A New Car Now? - Virus Induced Money Saving Deals and Programs From Car Makers
Special to The Auto Channel
From JD Power
In one of the most expansive programs, Hyundai Motor America's Assurance Job Loss Protection will make up to six months of payments for new owners who lose their jobs and have purchased or leased their vehicles between March 14 and April 30, 2020, through Hyundai Capital. The same offer applies to Hyundai’s luxury brand, Genesis, through the Genesis Cares program.
Furthermore, anyone who anticipates trouble making their payments should reach out to the financial institution that made the car loan or financed the lease even if that lender is not linked to the manufacturer. This will enable people who owe money on a loan to discuss their options, which can include flexible payment arrangements and payment extensions. Lessees might be able to arrange deferred lease payments as well.
In addition to financial support for existing customers, automakers are introducing new programs to prompt potential buyers who might be on the fence to purchase their vehicle immediately.
General Motors is offering "very well-qualified customers" interest-free financing for 84 months with deferred payments for up to 120 days. Ford Credit is offering to make your first three loan payments while also giving customers the option to delay their first payment for an additional 90 days. Buy an eligible Ford model by April 30, 2020 and you need not pay anything for six months.
Other automakers are also unveiling coronavirus car deals, according to their business requirements.
"Every OEM has a different need based on current inventories and future inventories," J.D. Power's Houston said. "Any program that assures consumers the affordability of the vehicle they are purchasing during uncertain times and gives after-sale support for those who financed their vehicle helps to generate consumer confidence."
With consumer confidence in short supply right now carmakers are also scurrying to assure potential car buyers that in most areas of the country their affiliated dealerships are open for both vehicle sales and service.
Many are emphasizing their online shopping, vehicle purchase, and vehicle delivery options. For example, GM's "Shop. Click. Drive." program at participating dealerships enables customers to browse a dealership's inventory on desktop and mobile devices 24 hours a day. Through that and similar programs, automakers offer consumers the ability to choose a vehicle, estimate a trade-in value, agree on payment, add accessories, and schedule delivery without ever setting foot into a showroom.
Other companies, such as FCA, are also ramping up online buying programs and tools. In light of the fact that many Americans are self-isolating, automakers hope these options will prompt consumers to reconsider buying a vehicle in what has been and could continue to be a troubling economic time.
Projections for U.S. auto sales for the remainder of 2020 range from dreary to disastrous. One "worst-case" projection, a scenario in which prolonged COVID-19 infections combine with a long-term economic slowdown, forecasts that new light-vehicle sales could tumble to 12.1 million this year from 16.9 million in 2019. Should the epidemic be shorter-lived, the latest J.D. Power forecast is for 14.8 million light-vehicle sales in 2020.