Better Supply Allows Honda to Shift Back into Incentives Game, Says

Better Supply Allows Honda to Shift Back into Incentives Game, Says

Better Supply Allows Honda to Shift Back into Incentives Game, Says

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — October 3, 2011 — With its production of new cars now back to normal, Honda has stepped up its incentives in an attempt to grab back the market share it has lost since the March earthquake in Japan, reports, the premier online resource for automotive information.

According to's analysis of September's True Cost of IncentivesSM (TCISM), Honda's average incentive spend grew to $1,871 per vehicle last month, a 12.3 percent increase over its average incentive spend in August. As a result, projected last week that Honda is expected to grow its market share more than any other major automotive manufacturer in September. projects that Honda captured 8.8 percent of auto sales in September, marking the company's highest monthly market share since April.

"With pent up demand growing over the last few months of inventory shortages — not to mention the past three years of depressed sales — consumers are looking for buying signals in the marketplace, and Honda's incentive play is one of those signals," said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst at "But whether they're targeting a Honda or any other 2011 model year vehicle, consumers would be wise to buy now, since there won't be a better combination of selections and prices through the end of the year."

Overall industry incentive spending increased slightly in September. Automakers spent an average of $2,453 on vehicle incentives last month, said, up less than three percent from August but down 4.1 percent from September 2010.

Average True Cost of IncentivesSM (TCISM), by Car Manufacturer
Manufacturer September 2011 August 2011 September 2010 Sep 2011 vs. Aug 2011 Sep 2011 vs. Sep 2010
Chrysler $2,835 $2,909 $2,974 -2.5% -4.7%
Ford $2,762 $2,680 $3,065 3.1% -9.9%
GM $3,221 $3,096 $3,291 4.0% -2.1%
Honda $1,871 $1,666 $1,736 12.3% 7.8%
Nissan $2,582 $2,457 $2,862 5.1% -9.8%
Toyota $2,163 $2,206 $2,158 -1.9% 0.2%
Industry $2,453 $2,385 $2,559 2.9% -4.1%

Among the top six car manufacturers, only Chrysler and Toyota decreased September incentives from August. Chrysler reduced its incentive spend 2.5 percent, while Toyota dropped its spending 1.9 percent. After Honda, Nissan had the biggest increase in spending last month, upping its average spend 5.1 percent from August to September.

On average, both South Korean and European automakers stepped back incentive spending last month, by 2.1 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively. South Korean automakers offered an estimated $1,012 per vehicle in September, while European brands offered an average of $2,027 per vehicle. U.S. brands spent $2,990 per vehicle last month (up 2.0 percent), while Japanese automakers spent $2,127 per vehicle (down 3.2 percent).'s monthly True Cost of IncentivesSM (TCISM) 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, 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.

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