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Quick Hits: Toyota Fights Credit Crunch with Credit


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

Toyota (TM) will offer 0% financing on 11 models in an effort to boost sagging sales during the credit crunch.

No-interest financing will be offered for periods of 36 to 60 months on the Matrix, Corolla, Camry, RAV4, Highlander, FJ Cruiser, 4Runner, Sequoia, Seinna, Tacoma and Tundra.

"Not only do we have the inventory of today's sought after fuel-efficient models, but we have the capacity through Toyota Financial Services to finance or lease them," Bob Carter, Toyota Division General Manager, said in a prepared statement.

Toyota said passenger car sales last month fell 23.7% from September 2007, to 78,912; truck sales declined 36% to 49,303. The Lexus division reported a 33.4% drop in September sales, to 16,045.

Tightening credit drove US auto sales below 1 million in September, the lowest figure since February 1993.

General Motors (GM) said September sales were down 16% from a year ago.

Ford's (F) September sales were off 34%.

Chrysler said sales fell 33% in September.

Honda (HMC) said September's sales fell 24% from a year ago.

Many dealers say prospective buyers find it increasingly difficult to qualify for auto loans as banks tighten lending standards in response to the credit crunch.
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