Conquest incentive

A “conquest” incentive is a secret, hidden-manufacturer rebate offered to those who drive a competitor’s car.

Most buyers use this rebate to lower the car’s selling price. (Or, we get the option to receive a mailed rebate instead.) These cash incentives can also lower the adjusted cap cost of a new-car lease.

To claim this incentive, a customer must show proof that s/he owns (or leases) a vehicle different than a manufacturer’s brand.

What brand qualifies for a conquest program? Usually, the list of manufacturers is listed within the incentive disclaimers.

Many car manufacturers also insist that the vehicle is financed through their “captives.” These are financing companies car manufacturers control (such as Chrysler Capital or Lexus Financial Services). Financing via credit unions and non-captive finance companies usually void conquest-bonus cash rebates.

A similar cash “loyalty” bonus is offered to keep a current customer within the same brand.

Often, these bonuses are used when a certain model is not selling well and the automaker lowers the price to boost sales.

Knowing about these secret car incentives and rebates often save us thousands of dollars over the term of the use of the car.