With Toyota Motor Sales, Toyota Financial Services has launched its largest offering to date for college graduates. The $1,000 rebate toward purchase or lease of select new Toyota vehicles and any new Scion car focuses on the models most likely to appeal to younger buyers. Toyota says it is available to those who graduated in the last two years or will graduate in six months.
They also have to get a job. Consumers who apply must either be employed, or starting a new job within 120 of days the purchase contract date. TFS will decide whether salary is sufficient to cover living expenses and vehicle payments.
The offer will be coupled with other incentives. TFS says graduates who get the $1,000 incentive are also eligible for a college-graduate financing program that includes no money down or no monthly payments for three months, no security deposit and roadside assistance for a year.
Kerry Rivera, marketing and advertising manager at TFS, tells Marketing Daily the offer is far greater than one the company ran last year, offering $400 to college grads. She says the company had started with a number more in line with that, but decided to up the offer, which applies to Corolla, Matrix, RAV4, Camry, Tacoma and Yaris, or any Scion car. Scion digital ads are running now with Toyota ads and other digital elements to come later. "We are doing mostly digital advertising for it, and [dealer-group] print advertising," she says.
The Toyota effort runs through March 2010, and the Scion offer runs through September.
Automaker incentives have hit the roof this year. In March, the average U.S. incentive hit $3,169 per vehicle -- up 5.7% from February and 30.1% from March last year, per Edmunds.com.
The firm said that March's numbers were the highest industry average on record -- beating the previous record in September 2004, when average incentive was $3,146 per vehicle sold.
Of the top seven automakers, Toyota incentives increased the most in March versus the month last year. Per Edmunds, the average incentive for Toyota, Lexus and Scion brand vehicles went from $849 per vehicle in March 2008 to $1,601 in March this year.