Over the past month or so we have reported on the recall situation with Toyota and commented on the incentive and ad campaigns that have gone along with that. Some campaigns have been from Toyota to help keep their current customers and others have been from the competition with the goal to lure people to their “problem-free” brands. The most recent example I have seen of this is an email I received from my local Nissan dealer offering several sales promotions including a $1,000 rebate to current Toyota owners.

2010 Nissan Versa

2010 Nissan Versa

2010 Nissan Versa

2010 Nissan Versa

The best part of this rebate is that it is on top of any other incentives a customer might qualify for, including the $8,000 off of the large Nissan Armada. However, the Armada isn’t what peaks our interest or that makes this campaign damaging to Toyota. No, the damaging part is that a current Toyota customer can go in and get the very affordable 2010 Nissan Versa (once named Least Expensive New Car) and take an additional $1,000 off the purchase price. That is quite a deal, especially on a car starting at $9,999 and in this economy you can bet that some will sacrifice customer loyalty for the new car and pocketbook savings.

Bottom line—Given the new subpoenas and ongoing U.S. House investigations into Toyota, we here at AllSmallCars.com bet that consumers will continue to be tempted with incentives to switch brands. The question is, can Toyota convince them to stick with them. We have come a long way from, “I love what you do for me, Toyota.”

 

Be sure to check out our partner site, CollegeCarGuide.com, for their coverage of the U.S. House Committee’s subpoena of the secret Toyota legal records.