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Deals of the week: Mercedes-Benz SL550, Nissan Titan, Lexus ES 250 and Mazda2

Nissan Titan


The spring selling season is almost upon us here in Canada. The bulk of new cars are sold in Canada between spring and early summer, and if early 2012 trends are any indication, the next few months are going to busy ones in Canadian car dealerships.

To keep things percolating at Mercedes-Benz, the factory has been offering a rebate of $18,500 on the 2012 SL550 roadster. This beautiful beast isn't cheap at its $126,000 list price, but the savvy buyer should be able to slice away a large chunk of the sticker.

Big savings are also being offered on the Nissan Titan pickup: a $10,500 factory-to-dealer rebate. Nissan is anxious to maintain a bit of interest in the Titan as the really big boys in the full-size pickup market – Ford, Chevrolet, GMC and Ram – duke it out with their roster of healthy incentives.

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Meanwhile, at Lexus, the ES 350 is wearing a $4,000 factory rebate. An all-new 2013 ES 350 is coming this year, so it's no surprise Toyota's luxury brand is loading up with sales sweeteners here.

If it's a little runabout you're after, the Mazda2 is a fine fuel-sipper and it has nearly $2,000 in factory rebates in play – plus whatever dealer discount you can swing.

One other point: last week, a number of readers commented on the latest academic research into discounting, noting that the study in question suggested shoppers would benefit from obtaining the dealer invoice pricing.

Here at Deals of the Week, we suggest an estimated dealer discount that takes into account the retail and wholesale prices of each new vehicle, while also considering this reality: dealers do need to make a profit to stay in business.

There's an old joke in the car business that pertains to money-losing ways: We lose money on every sale, but make up for it in volume. Chasing sales volume at a loss is a fool's game.

As usual, Deals of the Week obtained pricing information from, among other sources. Here are the numbers.

2012 Mercedes-Benz SL550

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  • MSRP: $126,000
  • Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $2,095
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $5,750
  • Factory discount: $18,500 (Direct Support for Cash Purchases Factory-to-Dealer rebate)
  • Taxable subtotal: $103,845
  • Total price with 13% HST: $117,344.85
  • Can be combined with 2.99% Smart Finance rates for up to 84 months

2012 Nissan Titan S 4WD SWB

  • MSRP: $39,898
  • Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax and Green Levy: $1,730
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $1,500
  • Factory discount: $10,500
  • Taxable subtotal: $29,628
  • Total price with 13% HST: $33,479.64
  • $4,500 factory-to-dealer rebate can be combined with 0.0% financing for 72 months

2012 Lexus ES 350

  • MSRP: $42,150
  • Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $2,050
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $1,900
  • Factory discount: $4,000 (Non-stackable Trading Dollars factory-to-dealer rebate slated officially to expire Feb 29)
  • Taxable subtotal: $38,300
  • Total price with 13% HST: $43,279

2012 Mazda2 GX

MSRP: $14,095

Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,595

Dealer discount (estimated): $300

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Factory discount: $1,500 (Mazda Retail Cash factory-to-dealer rebate)

Taxable subtotal: $13,890

Total price with 13% HST: $15,695.70

Factory rebate: $250 (Owner Loyalty Renewal Discount factory-to-customer rebate)

Final price: $15,445.70

Pricing information source: 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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