Toyota Jumps Aboard 'Cash For Clunkers' Train

Toyota Cash for clunkers ad

Toyota is the latest automaker to talk up the "Cash for Clunkers" program by offering additional incentives on top of the up-to-$4,500 offer from the government.

The Torrance, Calif.-based U.S. sales arm of the Japanese auto giant has launched a national ad effort comprising network and regional spot TV for ads about the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS).

The spots show a clunker being crushed in reference to a tenet of the CARS program that traded-in vehicles must be scrapped. The ads tell viewers that the automaker has 25 car and truck models that qualify for federal rebates, ranging from $3,500 to $4,500.

The effort comprises 30-second ads on channels like CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, TNT, USA, ABC Family, A&E, and Discovery. The company says Spanish-language versions will run on Univision, Telemundo and Telefutura.

The ads are also online at Edmunds.com and Cars.com, and the company says there will also be regional newspaper and radio ads.

Toyota also created a microsite for the program at Toyota.com/ cashforclunkers that, like similar sites at other automakers, enables consumers to calculate CARS cash they would receive for a given vehicle. Toyota is also offering additional dealer incentives, regionally.

Other automakers have been quick to jump on the CARS wagon. Chrysler recently launched a campaign, "Double Cash for your Old Car," that touts incentives on top of the government's offer. In June, Ford launched "Recycle Your Ride," a Web program to elucidate the CARS offer.

Hyundai Motor America, meanwhile, says that 83% of trades consumers have made under the Cash-for-Clunkers program at Hyundai dealerships have involved swaps of trucks, SUVs or vans for new Hyundai vehicles. The company says 86% of the new vehicles purchased are passenger cars, and that the average age of a trade-in model is about 14 years, with 140,000 miles on the odometer.

Hyundai, which began honoring CARS on July 2, says the program accounts for 11% of its sales so far this month. The company says 32% of the trade-in models reported by dealerships were Ford vehicles; 23% were Dodge vehicles, and Lexus, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz vehicles have also been traded in as clunkers.

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