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Deals of the week: The Koreans took the market by storm in 2012

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai

By any measure, argues DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, 2012 was the year Korean brands took the market by storm. Hyundai and Kia are here and they're here in force. The numbers prove it.

"Perhaps the most significant story of 2012 was the unrelenting sales push mustered by Hyundai and Kia – an especially impressive feat in light of Honda and Toyota's charge back from 2011's doldrums," says DesRosiers in a note to clients.

Hyundai and Kia combined sold more than 200,000 vehicles in Canada during 2012 – more than the Toyota/Lexus/Scion juggernaut, in fact.

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"This represents a doubling (DesRosiers' emphasis) of their pooled 2007 sales of 100,000 units," notes DesRosiers, adding that if the two brands which are owned by the same company (Hyundai) "were counted as a single automaker they would rank ahead of Honda/Acura and Toyota/Lexus as Canada's fourth largest seller of light vehicles."

Of course, Hyundai and Kia DO NOT like to be lumped together. They may build their vehicles in the same factories and do research and development jointly in South Korea, but the design, packaging, marketing, sales and distribution are kept completely distinct. Kia is not Hyundai and Hyundai is not Kia, company types argue.

Well, it's true that Canadians can't buy a Hyundai at a Kia store and vice versa. And it's also true that while both brands have been driving sales at least in part with tasty incentives, the deals are different at each brand.

Take the current 2013 Forte compact which shares much of its engineering and mechanical bits with the Hyundai Elantra. Kia is planning to launch an all-new Forte (2014) this year, while the Elantra carries on without big changes in 2013. From the Kia side of things, a new Forte means buyers will find richer offers on the Kia than on the Hyundai Elantra, which is a newer design, by the way.

Consider what Kia Canada has on offer for the 2013 Forte. The richest is a $3,000 factory-to-dealer rebate and it applies to both cash purchases and purchases used with special 3.69 per cent financing for up to five years.

Kia also has in play a number of other incentives, including a Three Payments on Us/No Payments for 90 Days promotion. The latter's value can be deducted from the purchase price or buyers can just take a cheque.

If you're shopping at a Kia dealer, ask about other deals in play: Finance Loan Delivery Credit ($1,000); First Time Vehicle Buyer's Program ($500); the Military Program, Lease Delivery Credit and Grad Program (all worth $500); and a few others. Not all these offers can be "stacked," or combined, but you should ask.

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Over at Hyundai, the all-new Santa Fe crossover is a very impressive bit of design and engineering. This Santa Fe takes Hyundai to a new level. Yet Hyundai Canada can't quite get out of the discounting game which has helped to make the Santa Fe one of the most popular vehicles in Canada, period. Deals of the Week found a $1,175 factory rebate that can be combined with financing and leasing deals.

Meanwhile, over at Nissan Canada there's a new car-based 2013 Pathfinder and it's a vast improvement over the truck-based 2012 Pathfinder. To clear out any remaining 2012s, Nissan has slapped on an $8,500 rebate and it can be combined with finance and lease offers. Ask the dealer for details.

Finally, the Ford Explorer. Like the 2013 Pathfinder, the latest Explorer is a car-based crossover and it's loaded with high-tech features. Still, to fire up interest, Ford of Canada has nearly $5,000 in factory incentives on the table for qualified buyers – not including whatever dealer discount the savvy customer can wring out of the local retailer. And the factory offers can be combined with certain finance and lease programs.

As usual, Deals of the Week obtained pricing information from www.carcostcanada.com, among other sources. Consult your dealer for all the details.

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Hyundai Hyundai  

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.4L Auto Luxury AWD

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  • MSRP: $33,899
  • Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,860
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $1,000
  • Factory discount: $1,175 (Hyundai Friends and Family Pricing)
  • Taxable subtotal: $33,584
  • Total price with 13% HST: $37,949.92
  • Can be combined with 2.98% finance rate for up to 96 months or 1.19 lease rate for 36 months

2013 Kia Forte Kia Kia  

2013 Kia Forte EX Auto sedan

  • MSRP: $19,795
  • Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,555
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $600
  • Factory discount: $3,000 (Kia Prime Rate Credit/Trading Dollars factory-to-dealer rebate: can be applied with 3.69% financing for up to five years or on cash purchases.)
  • Taxable subtotal: $17,750
  • Total price with 13% HST: $20,057.50
  • Kia Prime Rate Credit/Trading Dollars factory-to-dealer rebate: can be applied with 3.69% financing for up to five years or on cash purchases.

2012 Nissan Pathfinder S 4WD

  • MSRP: $37,998
  • Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,820
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $1,500
  • Factory discount: $8,500 (Nissan 2012 Model Year Payout Program)
  • Taxable subtotal: $29,818
  • Total price with 13% HST: $33,694.34
  • Can be applied to cash or financed purchases.

2012 Ford Explorer Ford Ford  

2012 Ford Explorer XLT 4WD

  • MSRP: $38,899
  • Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,650
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $1,400
  • Factory discount: $3,750 (Delivery Allowance factory-to-dealer rebate)
  • Taxable subtotal: $35,399
  • Total price with 13% HST: $40,087
  • Factory discount: $1,000 (Costco rebate)
  • Can be combined with 5.69% finance rate for up to five years

Pricing information source: www.carcostcanada.com. Calculations based on Ontario customers. Please note that while the information above is accurate at the time of publication, incentives are given at the discretion of individual dealers, and may be changed or discontinued at any time. Dealer discounts are negotiated with the customer on a case-by-case basis.

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About the Author
Senior writer, Globe Drive

In 25 years of covering the auto industry, Jeremy Cato has won more than two-dozen awards, including three times being named automotive journalist of the year. Jeremy was born in Montreal and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. More

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