The world economy is feeling the crunch of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the automotive market isn’t free from it.
Numerous car plants across the globe are halting production for days or weeks in a concerted effort to keep employees safe. In the US, Honda was the first to announce a production stoppage on March 18, lasting six days. Soon after GM, Ford, FCA, and Nissan announced their own planned shutdowns. Many dealerships are following suit in closing, or at least running reduced business hours.
We’re in uncharted waters, and that’s resulted in various programs and discounts that could benefit you, the current (or prospective) car buyer. Below we’ll be keeping an updated list of the payment assistance programs or buying and leasing deals.
May 20, 12:00 EST – Nissan extends NissanConnect services.
May 7, 09:00 EST – Updated Volkswagen.
April 30, 10:00 EST – Porsche extends warranties, adds more support.
April 22, 19:00 EST – Added Infiniti.
April 15, 19:00 EST – Volkswagen extends program to waive up to six months’ new car payments.
April 6, 17:00 EST – Added Jaguar Land Rover.
April 4, 09:00 EST – Added Volkswagen.
April 3, 16:30 EST – Updated Hyundai with warranty extension.
April 1, 10:00 EST – Added Mazda, updated FCA.
March 27, 12:00 EST – Added Toyota.
March 26, 17:30 EST – Added Honda.
March 25, 13:00 EST – Added Porsche.
March 23, 16:00 EST – Added Mitsubishi.
March 20, 10:00 EST – Added General Motors (Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Cadillac).
March 19, 16:50 EST – FCA, Ford added.
On March 19 FCA announced zero-percent financing for 84 months for select models from its Ram, Dodge and Jeep brands. April saw an expansion of the plan to all brands—that’s including Chrysler, Fiat, and Alfa Romeo—in addition to no payments for the first 90 days. All FCA brands will now offer an Online Retail Experience where potential buyers can go through most of the purchase process without having to leave their homes.
For specific deals we recommend calling your local dealership.
Ford announced its “Built to Lend a Hand” program on March 19. The program provides up to six months of support for buyers of 2019 and 2020 model year vehicles (except the F-Series Super Duty) who may have been affected by the coronavirus. The offer is split between three months of Ford paying, and three months of deferred payments.
Roughly 75 percent of the 3,000 or so American Ford dealerships will also be offering remote vehicle delivery, for both sales and service. During March and April, the Blue Oval will be incentivizing this approach, offering payments to dealers who take part in vehicle delivery.
This program comes on the back of a Ford Credit program announced Monday, March 16. It covers existing Ford owners, allowing them to call Ford Credit to discuss payment options in the face of coronavirus-related work disruptions. You can find more details at the Ford Credit website.
The General has announced a sweeping program for all of its brands, including Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC. It’s leading with a different approach, focusing on connectivity for its current customers.
Every WiFi-equipped model will have access to three months or 3 GB of complimentary data, whichever comes first. OnStar Crisis Assist will also be available for all current models at no charge for a limited time. This can connect drivers with advisors available 24/7 for emergency info, and provides routing to hospitals and clinics. The advisors are connected to crucial information centers like the CDC, FEMA and DHS.
Like FCA, GM is offering an interest-free, seven-year financing plan for most of its 2019 and 2020 models when working with GM Financial. The automaker is also allowing customers to defer payments for up to 120 days.
If you’re an existing customer affected by COVID-19, GM is urging you to call GM Financial to discuss personalized payment plans.
Current Honda customers will be eligible for up to 90 days’ worth of payment deferrals or extensions during this time. Those financing a new car through Acura or Honda Financial Services may be able to defer their first payment for up to 90 days, with some limitations. The 90-day deferred payment is not available in Florida.
In addition to the above, Honda will be putting $1,000 on the hood of select new models; Acura, $500.
April 03 Update: Hyundai has announced that it will be extending its car and powertrain warranty in the US and the world to give its customers some peace of mind in these trying times. The South Korean Automaker announced that all vehicles with 5-year/60,000 mile and 10-year/100,000 warranties expiring between March 2020 and June 2020 will get warranty extensions up to June 30, 2020. Hyundai has taken this action in the light of many dealerships and service stations being closed due to Coronavirus despite being classified under essential businesses. This has caused confusion among customers and the warranty extension will put over one million minds at ease.
Hyundai has announced that it will be extending its car and powertrain warranty in the US and the world to give its customers some peace of mind in these trying times. The South Korean Automaker announced that all vehicles with their 5-year/60,000 mile and 10-year/100,000 warranties expiring between March 2020 and June 2020 will get warranty extensions up to June 30, 2020. Hyundai has taken this action in the light of many dealerships and service stations being closed due to Coronavirus despite being classified under essential businesses. This has caused confusion among customers and the warranty extension will put over one million minds at ease.
Like Ford, the Korean automaker is offering up to 90 days of deferred payments for select new Hyundais bought between March 14 and April 30. Hyundai will also cover up to six months of payments in the event a buyer has lost their job due to coronavirus, double Ford’s offer.
The 90-day deferred payment offer applies to new vehicle purchases only. The six-month payment relief, on the other hand, applies to both financed and leased models. Both use the Korean automakers financing division Hyundai Capital.
Genesis is offering a similar program to its Korean sister brand under the name Genesis Cares. That means up to 90 days of deferred payments and up to six monthly payments from the automaker for those affected by COVID-19.
Infiniti announced its coronavirus support program in mid-April. With its in-house Infiniti Financial Services, the Japanese luxury maker is offering zero-percent APR financing for up to six years on its entire fleet. In addition, it will also defer payments for up to 90 days. These offers will run until June 30, 2020.
Many Infiniti dealers now offer remote delivery to buyers’ homes using CDC guidelines, and offer contactless service pick-ups.
Jaguar Land Rover announced its own support program for new and existing customers on April 6. New customers will be able to get zero-percent financing on all 2020 Jaguar or Land Rover models, as well as the 2021 F-Type, for 72 months through JLR Financial Group. A payment deferral program is also in place for up to three months, with a financing cap of $100,000.
Existing JLR drivers will have access to lease extensions of up to six months. In addition, for returning customers who start a new lease, Jaguar will waive two payments of up to $750 each. The offer applies to all Jag models and most Land Rovers (not including the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport).
Mazda started April with the announcement of Mazda Financial Services, in partnership with Toyota’s financing company. MFS will offer payment deferrals of up to 90 days on both new and certified used Mazda models purchased throughout the month of April.
Mitsubishi owners will be eligible for up to 120 days of deferred payments if they financed their vehicles through Ally. Those that buy a car during this time may also qualify for up to 90 days of deferred payment on their new vehicle. The news came from Fred Diaz, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America.
Like many other brands, Nissan is offering a range of relief support for both current and future customers. The Japanese brand will provide up to three months of deferred payments and two months of waived payments for most new Nissans. Exceptions include the new Versa, Z Coupe, GT-R, Armada, Frontier, and NV vans. Also like other brands, this offer applies through Nissan’s financing arm.
Nissan is encouraging current owners to call its customer service department if they are worried about making payments. It is also waiving any late fees through April 30.
May 20 Update: Nissan is extending all eligible, previously-expired NissanConnect Services Premium Plus trials by three months. If you’re one of the folks this affects, you should have received an email detailing the extension, which can be activated any time between now and June 30.
April 30 Update: Porsche has expanded its Coronavirus support programs with longer lease and warranty extensions, lower APRs on new and used car financing, and more.
For those with new cars with warranties expiring between March and May of this year, Porsche will automatically extend the warranties by three months. This means a warranty could now run to as late as August 31. “The purpose of a warranty is peace of mind, which is something we are happy
to provide at a time when it is needed most,” said Porsche Cars North America president Klaus Zellmer.
Porsche Financial Services is offering 1.95 percent APR on new and used cars for up to 60 months. In most states, it’s also offering buyers up to 90 days before they need to make their first payment. Both programs are compatible, with the lower APR applying to contracts up until June 1 and the 90-day first payment program applying until June 30.
Porsche is offering a four-pronged approach to customers during the pandemic. For starters, it’s making digital shopping easier for dealerships to add to their own websites, with only a single dealership visit needed for buyers to sign and drive away in their new vehicles. Current owners will also find increased access to home pick-ups for maintanence.
Those with leases set to wrap up between now and the end of May will have the option of extending their lease by up to six months. Lastly, Porsche is joining other automakers in offering payment deferrals, on a case-by-case basis. The German brand will offer either 30- or 60-day deferrals, which it states was very successful in aiding customers during the recession of 2008.
Japan’s largest automaker announced its own support program on March 27. Toyota didn’t give any numbers, but did state it will provide payment relief options for customers of Toyota or Lexus Financial Services. According to the statement, “affected lease and finance customers may be eligible to take advantage of finance contract payment extensions or lease deferred payments.” Toyota and Lexus will also offer options to those whose leases are up or nearly so.
May 7 Update: Volkswagen has extended its entire support program through June 1. For new customers this includes first-payment deferments of up to four months, zero-percent APR on terms up to 72 months, and up to six months of waived payments (of $750/month or less).
Current VW owners can qualify for three months’ worth of fee-free payment deferrals. The German automaker is also offering lease extensions of up to six months. Owners who extend their current lease by three months or more are also eligible for a 20 percent reduction in monthly payments for doing so.
Current owners looking for payment assistance are urged to visit vwcredit.com to discuss their situation.
Lastly, dealers will be running a new delivery program to help customers get their car serviced without leaving their homes.