Edmunds.com Reports Automakers True Cost of Incentives: Domestic Incentives Surpass $3000 Per Vehicle While Market Share Nears Record Low


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Edmunds.com Reports Automakers' True Cost of Incentives: Domestic Incentives Surpass $3000 Per Vehicle While Market Share Nears Record Low; SUV Incentives Soar

Santa Monica, CA - April 28, 2003 - Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, reported today that the average manufacturer incentive per vehicle sold in the United States was $2,235 in March 2003, up $536 or 31.6% from March 2002, and up $100 or 4.7% from February 2003.

Edmunds.com's monthly True Cost of IncentivesSM report takes into account all of the manufacturers' various incentives programs, including subvented interest rates and lease programs as well as cash rebates to consumers and dealers. To assure 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.

Incentives spending for domestic Chrysler, Ford and General Motors nameplates averaged $3,007 per vehicle, up 4% from February 2003 and up 36% from March 2002. Despite this increase, the total U.S. market share of the domestics was 59.4% in March 2003, one of its lowest recorded levels.

The luxury SUV segment continues to have the lowest incentives per vehicle, but that distinction narrowed in March as this segment experienced the greatest month-to-month increase. Luxury SUV incentives rose 43% from $940 per unit in February 2003 to $1,345 in March 2003. Simultaneously, luxury SUV sales went up 12.6%.

Incentives for the large SUV segment increased 28% from $2,446 per unit in February to $3,131 in March, but the market share of the large SUV segment did not materially increase.

Lexus and Land Rover each more than doubled their incentives spending last month compared to February, spending $1,128 and $964, respectively, per unit in March. In the same period, Lexus experienced a 13.9% market share increase while Land Rover had a 7% decrease.

On average, vehicles sold 64 days after arriving on dealer lots in March 2003 compared to 50 days in March 2002, reflecting a slower sales cycle. The shortest "days to turn" was recorded for GM's Hummer, at 21 days, and BMW's MINI, at 25 days, while Isuzu and Suzuki were at the other end of the spectrum at 117 and 99 days, respectively.

"In March, incentives increased across the board," stated Dr. Jane Liu, Executive Director of Data Analysis for Edmunds.com. "Most manufacturers were dragged into the game to stay competitive and move their aging inventory, especially less fuel efficient vehicles."

About Edmunds.com True Cost of IncentivesSM (TCISM)
Edmunds.com's TCISM is a comprehensive monthly report that measures automobile manufacturers' cost of incentives on vehicles sold in the United States. These costs are reported on a per vehicle basis for the industry as a whole, for each manufacturer, for each make sold by each manufacturer and for each model of each make. TCI covers all aspects of manufacturers' various incentives programs (except volume and similar bonus programs), including dealer cash, manufacturer rebates and consumer savings from subvented APR and lease programs (including subvented lease residual values used in manufacturer leasing programs). Data for the industry, the manufacturers and the makes are derived using weighted averages and are based on actual monthly sales and financing activity.

About Edmunds.com, Inc.
Edmunds.com is the premier online resource for automotive information. Its comprehensive set of data, tools and services, including Edmunds.com True Market Value® pricing, is generated by Edmunds Data Services and is licensed to third parties. For example, the company supplies over 800,000 pages of content for NYTimes.com's auto section and delivers monthly data reports to Morgan Stanley. Edmunds.com was named "best car research" site by Forbes ASAP, is viewed by consumers as the "most useful Web site" according to the J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com StudieSM for both 2001 and 2002, and was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites as reported by The Wall Street Journal. The company is headquartered in Santa Monica, California and maintains a satellite office in Troy, Michigan.

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