SANTA MONICA, Calif. — March 01, 2013 — February's record-breaking gas prices might have pushed shoppers to consider more fuel-efficient cars, but incentives on those vehicles left a lot to be desired, reports Edmunds.com, the premier resource for car shopping and automotive information. According to Edmunds.com's True Cost of Incentives® (TCI®) report, incentive spending on hybrid vehicles was down almost 12 percent from January to February, hitting its lowest average level since July of last year. Incentives on compact cars, meanwhile, were down two percent from January to their lowest level since October.
"Every year there comes a time when gas prices put hybrid and compact cars into focus, but it's not often we have them under the microscope this early," says Edmunds.com Sr. Analyst Jessica Caldwell. "It will be worth watching to see if automakers are willing to loosen their grip on incentives to make these vehicles easier to buy, especially if gas prices keep rising."
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According to Edmunds.com's TCI® report, new car incentives in February fell 2.3 percent overall from January to an average of $2,269. Year over year, incentives were up 2.6 percent in February. Nissan (+5.7%) had the highest month-over-month increase in spending, while Toyota (-12.6%) had the sharpest decrease.
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.
Edmunds.com is a car-shopping Web site 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.