General Motors Pounces on Toyota Sales Halt Through New Incentives

General Motors Pounces on Toyota Sales Halt Through New Incentives

Seizing on Toyota’s (TM: 79.7, -7.05, -8.13%) bombshell announcement to halt sales of eight of its models, General Motors unveiled Wednesday afternoon new incentives to Toyota customers, including a $1,000 lease waiver and zero percent financing for up to 60 months.

Noting that such “conquest” incentives are common in the auto industry, GM said the new offer will be applicable to all Toyota customers who purchase a Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac.

“We decided to make this offer after receiving many emails and calls from our dealers, who have been approached by Toyota customers asking for help,” GM said in a statement.

GM said effective Wednesday through the end of February, dealers will be able to offer owners and leases of Toyota vehicles three incentives: a waiver of three payments up to a total of $1,000 for lease customers, zero percent interest for up to 60 months for financing customers, or a $1,000 purchase bonus for cash buyers.

After months and years of bleak news about Detroit’s woes, Toyota shocked the auto industry by making an unprecedented decision to halt sales on eight of its models due to sticking accelerator pedals. Toyota, the world’s largest auto maker, also said it plans to stop production of its best-selling Camry for at least the first week of February.

Toyota’s stock tumbled 9.12% to $78.87 Wednesday afternoon on the news. On the other hand, Ford (F: 11.54, 0.33, 2.94%), the only publicly-traded U.S. auto maker, saw its shares jump 2.14% to $11.42.

GM, which earlier this week announced interim CEO Ed Whitacre will stay on as permanent CEO, filed for bankruptcy last year amid plunging sales and heavy debt. The auto maker sped through bankruptcy proceedings and emerged as a slimmed-down company after having cut its brands to four.

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