Survey Says

Autolist: Zero-percent financing offers driving new car sales as industry begins rebound

Many automakers are offering incentives to spur buyers into purchasing.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

According to a new survey by auto-shopping website Autolist.com, zero-percent financing offers currently have the biggest impact on car sales. Nearly half of the 1,436 respondents chose that option from a list as part of a survey conducted in April, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

"These are highly unusual and uncertain times for all consumers thanks to the coronavirus," said Chase Disher, analyst at Autolist. "So it's no wonder that car shoppers prefer the long-term stability that zero-interest loans provide."

As part of the survey, respondents were asked to pick up to three types of incentives that would make them more likely to buy or lease a new or used vehicle at that moment. Survey takers could choose from the following options: zero-percent financing, flexible payment plans for loans or leases, deferred payments at the beginning of the loan or lease, limited-time payment forgiveness if a buyer loses their job, owner loyalty cash, waiving of late fees on loan or lease payments, other, unsure.

The results were as follows:

  • Zero-interest financing: 48 percent.
  • Flexible payment plans for loans or leases: 32 percent.
  • Deferred payments at the beginning of the loan or lease: 27 percent.
  • Limited-time payment forgiveness if a buyer loses their job: 24 percent.
  • Owner loyalty cash: 17 percent.
  • Waiving of late fees on loan or lease payments: 16 percent.
  • Other: 10 percent.
  • Unsure: 10 percent

Additionally, 13 percent of those who answered the survey said none of these offers would make them more likely to buy a car during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Consumers' mood really bottomed out in late March and early April, according to our poll," Disher said. "And while there is still a lot of uncertainty about recovery in the next few months, our data is showing that car shoppers are feeling confident in the long-term health of the economy and their decision to buy a car in 2020."

Most automakers are currently offering some level of incentive in an attempt to spur customers into purchasing. Autolist has a full rundown of the incentives that automakers are offering during the COVID-19 pandemic is available here.

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This 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is just one of the models up for auction next month.

Photo courtesy of Mecum Auctions

Mecum Auctions will return to NRG Center in Houston for its 10th consecutive year this April. The auction is set to feature an estimated 1,000 American muscle cars, classics, Corvettes, exotics, trucks, hot rods, and resto mods.

Mecum will be taking up 706,000 square feet of space in 11 separate halls at NRG Center from April 8-10, 2021. Doors open daily at 8 a.m. with the vehicle auction beginning at 10 a.m.

The auction house has already had a number of vehicles consigned to Mecum Houston 2021 including a 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon (Lot S122) with a mere 3 miles on its odometer, and a 2005 Dodge Ram SRT-10 Yellow Fever Edition Pickup (Lot S65) with just 2,555 miles. There's also a 1966 Plymouth Belvedere Hardtop (Lot S63) that has had a comprehensive frame-off restoration.

1966 Plymouth Belvedere Hardtop This 1966 Plymouth Belvedere Hardtop is set to cross the block at the Houston auction.Photo courtesy of Mecum Auctions

1966 Plymouth Belvedere Hardtop

Mecum Auction's website is updated daily with the latest consignments including detailed descriptions and photographs of the vehicles.

In order to get a vehicle at the auction, bidders must register ahead of time via the Mecum website. They can also register on-site for $200. Bidder registration includes admission for two persons to all three days of the auction.

Remote bidding options are available available and include online and telephone bidding.

General admission tickets are available online for $20 per person, per day up until Wednesday, April 7. After April 7, the price rises to $30. Children ages 12 and younger receive complementary admission. There will be no on-site box office.

The auction schedule is still TBD and will be announced closer to the event date.

Portions of Mecum Houston 2021 will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network with details of the coverage to be announced.

There's still time to consign a vehicle to be auctioned at the event. Those interested can learn more by visiting Mecum.com or calling (262) 275-5050.

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Signage greets people who arrive to line up for COVID-19 vaccinations at Nassau Community College on January 10, 2021 in Garden City, New York.

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Though best known for their cars, Honda also has powersports, motorsports, power equipment, and marine offerings that have as much of a reputation for reliability and performance as their autos. The company donated several EG2800i portable electrical generators to state and county health departments to be used to provide on-site power to COVID-19 vaccination clinics in seven states.

The clinics are in Alabama, California, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina, and South Carolina - all locations where Honda has major operations. Honda is working with the governments to provide each state with 10 of the generators. They are being allocated to health departments based on each state's vaccination distribution plan.

Power sources are vital parts of the vaccination process. The portable generators will provide reliable power for lighting and computer usage, as well as refrigerators and freezers critical for maintaining COVID-19 vaccines within manufacturer-recommended temperature ranges.

"We greatly appreciate Honda's generous donation of portable generators that will be used in public health response efforts throughout the state," said Andy Mullins, director of the Alabama Department of Public Health Center for Emergency Preparedness. "In addition to supporting needs such as powering refrigerators and freezers that hold COVID-19 vaccine during power outages, these new units will allow more vaccination clinics to be held in non-traditional settings. For example, the generators may be used for clinics held outdoors in rural and underserved areas to provide broader vaccine coverage for people at high risk."

Weighing less than 67 pounds, the Honda EG2800i is known for operating quietly, delivering high-quality power, being fuel efficient, and running for a long time. It's lightweight and portable. It can power several devices at once including a refrigerator, freezer, furnace blower motor, several lights, microwaves and TVs.

"While we have access to a couple of larger generators, they are big, heavy and loud," said Brad Gilbert, Union County (Ohio) Emergency Management Director. "These Honda generators are perfect, because they are easy to move, load and use, which is very important when we have to use and move them multiple times."

Gilbert added, "We are also adding these to our plans for use in the event that we have to relocate or open additional clinics in large parking areas that have no access to power."

Last year, Honda donated $1 million to food banks in the U.S. as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

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