Japanese Carmakers Get Creative with Leasing to Combat Supply Issues

By Jacob Brown | June 20, 2011
To retain customers amid supply shortages, Toyota, Honda, and Nissan are launching aggressive strategies to keep lessees in their cars until supplies of their popular new cars can be replenished. Following the devastating March earthquake in Japan, the Japanese Big Three’s production levels have been limited due to supplier shortages and damaged production plants. As the new cars trickle in, Honda and Toyota have each allowed customers to extend their leases up to six months when production is expected to be back at full capacity. Honda is giving customers who move into new leases a $500 credit and will honor current offers and incentives through October for vehicles that may not be currently available. Meanwhile, Toyota’s dealers will give customers who move into another Toyota after their leases expire an even higher $750. Additionally, Nissan is providing its customers with short-term 24-month leases at $179 per month for Altima sedans.
No other Japanese automaker has announced incentives to keep customers through their struggles with limited supplies, but Mazda said in a statement that it will “work with qualified customers to offer lease extensions if there is a delay” in availability. In an interview with Automotive News, a Honda dealer who asked to remain anonymous said, “Most of the push is geared toward lease customers. [Honda does] not want to lose them. They are too valuable and too hard to get back.” Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)