December's sharp sales decline is pushing Toyota to offer cash incentives for the first time on the Prius hybrid. Toyota will also drop cash on top of the Corolla and Camry.

Toyota wasn't Saved By Zero but rather imperiled by a 36.7% drop in December 2008. Instead of focusing on 0% financing, Toyota is going to put more more money on the barrel, offering customer and dealer cash across their product line.

On the low end, the 2009 Toyota Prius comes with $750 in dealer cash in most areas. The non-hybrid Toyota Camry will be offered with $1,000 in customer rebates and $500 in dealer cash. The Corolla will come with cash rebates of $1,250 to $1,500 depending on the trim level. This is the money Toyota will give you for their most popular vehicles? What about the Tundra?

If you're in the market for a Tundra you can get up to $4,000 in customer cash for a 2008 model. The 2009 will come with $2,000 in dealer cash, which will almost certainly translate into some good deals for people who still need a new truck.

The switch from financing deals to cash incentives clearly shows Toyota thinks people are more concerned with short-term cash flow issues than long-term savings. With the 2010 Toyota Prius around the corner we're curious how low Toyota is willing to go to move the rest of their hybrid inventory.

[Automotive News (subs. req.)]