0 percent mania grows

More automakers have introduced 0 percent financing to replace expiring incentives or augment other programs.

Toyota joined the 0 percent brigade with no-interest loans in lieu of rebates on the 2002 and 2001 Corolla, 4Runner and Tundra. Toyota continues to rely more on dealer rebates than on customer spiffs. Its newest slate runs until Dec. 3.

Daewoo became another member of the 0 interest club. It offers fee-free loans for 24 months to buyers of 2001 models. October rebates are $500 to $1,000 to buyers of 2001 models and $750 to $2,000 to purchasers of 2000s.

General Motors, Ford Motor Co., the Chrysler group and American Suzuki Motor Corp. already had 0 percent financing. GM increased many of its cash rebates last week to go with its 0 percent financing program. On the other hand, the Chrysler group stood pat on dollar givebacks, perhaps deciding that no-interest loans were enough of a sweetener.

GM added $500 to the rebates on six 2002 car lines and five truck lines. GM also disclosed that 2001 Cadillac cars have rebates from $2,000 to $3,000. They expire Oct. 31. Most other rebates on 2002 and 2001 GM models are slated to end Jan. 15.

The Chrysler group no longer has a full schedule of national incentives. Its rebates are regional. Chrysler's summer collection expired Tuesday, Oct. 2, and was renewed until Oct. 31.

You can reach John K. Teahen Jr. at autonews@crain.com

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