December Deals and Incentives Got a Head Start in November, Reports Edmunds.com


Correction notice: Ford's True Cost of Incentives for December 2012 was originally overstated by approximately $300. Edmunds.com analysts regret the error.

December Deals and Incentives Got a Head Start in November, Reports Edmunds.com

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — December 26, 2012 — Even as automakers swarmed airwaves with year-end deals and promotions, automotive incentives remained stable in December, reports Edmunds.com, the premier resource for car shopping and automotive information. According to Edmunds.com's True Cost of Incentives® (TCI®) report, the average new car incentive in December was $2,286 in December, down 0.8 percent from November and down 1.0 percent from December 2011.

But this doesn't mean that automakers were not offering year-end deals. Instead, says Edmunds.com, it simply means that those year-end deals started early.

"Deals really started to jump in November, when automakers boosted incentives almost six percent," says Edmunds.com Sr. Analyst Jessica Caldwell. "So those 2012 closeout ads on TV weren't just illusions. The early start to year-end sales simply gave car buyers more time to consider all of the deals available and to make a better choice for their next new car."

Average True Cost of Incentives® (TCI®) by Car Manufacturer
Manufacturer Dec-12 Nov-12 Dec-11 Dec 2012 vs Nov 2012 Dec 2012 vs Dec 2011
Chrysler $2,704 $2,798 $2,626 -3.4% 3.0%
Ford $2,901 $2,817 $3,109 3.0% -6.7%
GM $3,228 $3,067 $3,227 5.2% 0.0%
Honda $1,138 $1,214 $1,199 -6.3% -5.1%
Nissan $2,504 $2,913 $2,388 -14.0% 4.9%
Toyota $1,903 $1,835 $1,602 3.7% 18.8%
Industry $2,286 $2,305 $2,308 -0.8% -1.0%

Not all car brands started their promotions early, however. In fact, some lucky car shoppers — especially luxury brand shoppers — had their patience rewarded if they delayed purchases to December. Infiniti, for example, increased its spend 12.9 percent from November to December, while Volvo (+12.5 percent) and Lexus (+11.2 percent) also spent significantly more.

As always, shoppers can find the vehicles with the most compelling deals on Edmunds.com's True Market Value® Deals of the Month page.

Edmunds.com's monthly True Cost of Incentives® (TCI®) report takes into account all automakers' various U.S. incentives programs, including subvented interest rates and lease programs, as well as cash rebates to consumers and dealers. To ensure the greatest possible accuracy, Edmunds.com bases its calculations on sales volume, including the mix of vehicle makes and models for each month, as well as on the proportion of vehicles for which each type of incentive was used.

About Edmunds.com, Inc.
At Edmunds.com, we're committed to helping people find the car that meets their every need. Almost 18 million visitors use our research, shopping and buying tools every month to make an easy and informed decision on their next new or used car. Whether you're at the dealership or on the go, we're always by your side with our five-star Edmunds.com iPhone and iPad apps and our Edmunds.com Android App. Our comprehensive car reviews, shopping tips, photos, videos and feature stories offer a friendly and authentic approach to the automotive world. We're based in Santa Monica, Calif., but you can connect with us from anywhere by following @Edmunds on Twitter or by becoming a fan of Edmunds.com on Facebook.

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