With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic being felt across various industries, some Canadian automakers have announced measures they're taking to help Canadians through this crisis.
South of the border, automakers are making big changes to give customers financing flexibility, including offers to defer payments for up to six months on purchases made now. Hyundai and Genesis are even offering job loss protection to help make payments in a program much like what Hyundai offered during the 2008 recession. In Canada, automakers haven't announced a blanket solution or policy, but many are evaluating their customers' concerns on a case-by-case basis.
In alphabetical order, here are what some automakers are doing to help Canadians:
BMW has posted to its social media accounts that customers can contact BMW Finance at 800-300-0BMW or service@BMWFinance.ca for assistance, but did not release any specifics.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) - Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Canada, including Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram brands, uses various financing providers, and the company says many of them are offering relief to consumers. FCA Canada says that "customers should contact their provider to check on their situation." That information should be on the customer's finance agreement or might be on their online banking transaction information.
[Update: April 2, 2020]
FCA has announced special incentives including no payments for 120 days on all of the brand's 2019 and 2020 models and 24/7 roadside assistance
Ford Canada has not yet given us an official statement, but their social media team has directed customers to contact Ford Credit Canada, who "will be in the best position to address any questions or concerns you may have directly." They can be reached at 877-636-7346.
General Motors - Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC
General Motors Canada, including Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC brands told us that "GM Canada intends to support our Canadian customers and dealers in this challenging situation. We will share these details as they become available." In the meantime, on social media, the automaker has said that "GM Financial is committed to helping customers through customized account assistance. GM Financial customers in need of help are encouraged to contact the GM Financial Customer Experience team at 1-800-465-4591 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org."
Honda / Acura
Honda Canada said that Honda and Acura Canada "are available to discuss any finance or lease concerns and questions our customers have. We want to help them as we work through this crisis. As each case is unique we ask them to contact us directly." They can be reached at Honda Canada 800-387-5399 or via email at email@example.com, or for Acura Canada 866-899-4440 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hyundai is offering existing finance customers up to a three-month payment deferral plus a one-month payment deferral for lessees and a lease extension option that means "customers in self-isolation can delay their vehicle lease return by an additional 30 days to three months." For new customers, Hyundai is offering a six-month payment deferral program on "all new vehicles financed at a Hyundai dealership," if the customer requests it. The automaker points out a 1 per cent interest rate reduction for most new vehicles, passing on the recent stimulus measures put in place by central banks.
[Update: April 6, 2020]
Hyundai is also extending original warranties that were set to expire between March and May 2020. This extension policy is meant to help consumers who might " face difficulties in getting vehicle maintenance during the COVID-19 pandemic," Hyundai said in a press release. Warranties that were set to expire between March and May of this year will be honoured until June 30, 2020.
[Update: April 9, 2020]
If Hyundai customers have questions about the automaker's support programs, they can visit a new dedicated website, hyundaihelps.ca
Kia is deferring payments on new car purchases for 120 days and is offering 0 per cent financing. The automaker hasn't made an official announcement about financing for cars that have already been purchased, but said that if people have concerns about their lease or financing situation, they can email Kia Motors Financial or call 1-866-250-3151.
For Mazda customers with leases coming due but not "in a position to replace their vehicle at this time", the automaker is providing lease extensions. Contact Mazda Financial Services at 888-703-8857 for assistance. Finance customers are encouraged to contact Scotiabank at 833-315-4357. Mazda is also offering payment deferrals on loans for customers "who absolutely need a new vehicle during these uncertain times." Mazda Canada recommends calling, emailing, or texting their local dealer before making a visit as some have reduced hours, reduced services, special arrangements for the situation, or are temporarily closed outright.
Mitsubishi Motors Canada has offered generous terms including help for buyers who still want or need to purchase a new vehicle now. Mitsubishi Motors Financial Services (MMFS) is offering 90-days deferred payments "depending on individual credit."
For buyers who already have their vehicle, MMFS will offer "payment rescheduling arrangements of up to 90 days on a case-by-case basis," giving owners one less thing to worry about. The company said that it is "working quickly to bring more support to our valued customers and dealers." Contact MMFS at 877-739-9837.
Nissan Canada told us that "to support those customers impacted by the COVID-19 virus, the customer service team at Nissan Canada Finance (NCF) will provide payment rescheduling arrangements on a case-by-case basis." Customers can reach out to nissanfinance.ca, call 800-268-6499, or email NCFcustomer.email@example.com. Customers of Infiniti can use the same email or call 800-268-0875 for Western Canada and 800-565-2445 for Eastern.
We've reached out to Subaru for an official statement, but in the meantime, at least one owner Tweeted they were able to make alternate arrangements. Contact Subaru Financial Services at 888-513-5949
Toyota / Lexus
Toyota Canada's Toyota Financial Services told us that they are offering payment relief for their customers "to help them through these exceptional circumstances," the same information given by the company's Lexus brand. TFS can be contacted at 1-800-661-3062. Lexus Financial Services can be reached at 800-26-LEXUS (53987).
Volkswagen Finance has said that it is "committed to assisting our customers affected by COVID-19." The automaker directs customers with questions or concerns about their lease and finance payments to contact 800-668-8224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the brand you bought from isn't on this list, or if you used a bank, credit union, or another lender, that doesn't mean you're out of luck. If you need assistance with your financing, contact your loan or lease provider, and the best way to get their information is from the documentation that came from your dealer with your purchase. If you can't find that, it may be on your bank statement listed with your payment withdrawal. And remember that these companies are likely to be busy and on reduced staffing, so don't wait until the last minute.
This article will be updated as we get more information.
The health and safety of our community is our top priority. autoTRADER.ca encourages all Canadians to practice social distancing in accordance with recommendations by Health Canada and avoid non-essential travel. It's up to all of us to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. If the purchase of a vehicle is essential to your situation, please contact your local dealership to discuss options relative to your region and ensure accordance with Health Canada guidelines. For more information on how COVID-19 might impact Canadian car owners, see our resource page here.