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GM Aiming New Incentives at Toyota

Recall costs likely to be huge, both to cash reserves and image.

by on Jan.27, 2010

Have one of these to trade? GM is offering an extra $1,000 if you do.

All’s fair in love, war and automotive marketing, it seems, and General Motors is hoping to make some gains off Toyota’s latest round of quality problems with a new $1,000 incentive program.

The cash offer is good for any potential customer that wants to trade in a Toyota product.  GM buyers will have the option of getting $1,000 in cash, cutting $1,000 off their lease payments or taking a zero-interest, 60-month loan.  The program, which began today, runs through the end of February, said a GM spokesman.

“Our dealers were getting inundated” with calls from Toyota owners looking to trade in, said GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson, adding that “carmakers are always looking for a competitive advantage.”

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That deluge was triggered by a series of setbacks to the Japanese giant which last week announced it would recall 2.3 million vehicles due to problems with “sticky accelerators.” Then, on Tuesday, Toyota said it would halt U.S. sales of eight vehicles impacted by the recall and halt production at five North American plants will it tried to assess the cause of the safety problem and come up with a solution.