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Toyota's Finance Deals Land Another Blow Against Big 3

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Like a python squeezing the air out of its victim, Toyota is in the midst of a move that will further hurt the Big 3. This time it's with the automaker's ability to offer financing and deals at a time when Detroit's automakers are in a pinch.

This is not a death blow to Detroit, but more of another body blow.

Yesterday, GMAC announced that it would only handle auto loans for those buyers with credit scores of 700 or better. Essentially telling GMdealers that one out of every four buyers will have to get an auto loan through some other source. It doesn't mean GM dealers won't be able to sell to those "non-prime" customers, but it won't be as easy.

Meanwhile, Toyota is blitzing the TV with commercials touting 0% financing. For those who have considered buying a Toyota in the past but ultimately went with an American made model because it was a better deal, the situation has flipped.

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Granted, this is not exactly a buyers market and you can make the argument that any market share Toyota picks up this month is just a month. After all, GM ended last month with a huge gain (thanks to 0%) while Toyota slumped with one its worst months ever.

Still, the next few weeks bear watching. GM's ability to always sell the best deal has been key to its ability to hang on while Chrysler and Ford have been passed by Toyota. Now that the Toyota dealers have the hammer, we'll see how the country's top automaker holds up.

    • Things Are Worse than Previously Expected: Toyota

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