In an effort to boost sales of it’s Nissan derived mid-size pickup, the Equator, as well as other U.S. models; American Suzuki Motor Corporation is offering a new incentive: free gasoline for the summer. Customers who purchase a new 2010 Equator, will be eligible to receive a stored-value debit card for fuel. The cards will range in value from $280 to $442 in total. The amount will depend on the national average price of a gallon of gas at the time of issue, the calculated EPA fuel mileage for the vehicle in question (Equators are available with 2.5-liter four-cylinder or 4.0-liter V6 engines, both of which have managed more than 20 highway mpg in testing); plus the Federal Highway Administration’s calculation of approximately 1000 miles driven per month. The cards will be issued through August 31 2010.
Free gas incentives have been done before and are highly popular in Europe, where petrol regularly sells for $6-8 a gallon. Introducing such a program, just as North America starts gearing up for the summer driving season is a shrewd move, but whether Suzuki is able to shift significantly more Equators during the warmer months remains to be seen. I guess we’ll soon find out.