East Texas Recession Survival Guide: Recession means great deals are being offered

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - They say the goal is to get you on the lot and into a brand new car.

"Somebody may need a new car, and they're going, 'well, I'm not real sure I should buy one right now with the way things are going with my job,'" said Tim Haugh, Tyler Ford sales manager. "It's a peace of mind."

He says under the new Ford advantage plan, if you lose your job, Ford will cover your payments up to 700 bucks a month for a year.

"Up until now, it is unheard of," he said.

GM, too. Brad Hall is with Hall Buick, Pontiac, and GMC.

"Anything that they can do, and some of the other large car manufacturer can do to kind of get this economy jump-started, they're going to do it," said Hall.

GM's "total confidence" program is also reassuring buyers, offering 9-months in payments and up to $500 a month if you lose your job. In January, Hyundai started letting customers who were fired and could not make their payments, bring their cars back all together. Hyundai said it helped the company avoid large sales declines.

It's not just automakers struggling. Airlines want you to fly. On its web site, Jet Blue touts its Jet Blue Promise: refunding fares if you get laid off.

Cruise lines, too...

"Norwegian cruise line is offering a money back program if you lose your job and you've been employed in it for at least a year," said Sue Ratliff who runs Sea the World, a travel agency.

She said it's the first time a cruise line has offered that kind of insurance. She says folks may not travel as long as they used to.

"Americans feel it's their God-given right to take a vacation," she said.

And whether you're flying or driving, all companies want you to do is get inside the door.

Both Ford and GM are offering their payment protection plans for a limited time only. The Ford advantage plan ends June first. The GM total confidence plan ends at the end of the month.