Edmunds.com Reports True Cost of Incentives: Auto Incentives Fall for Most Brands

Edmunds.com Reports True Cost of Incentives: Auto Incentives Fall for Most Brands

Edmunds.com Reports True Cost of Incentives: Auto Incentives Fall for Most Brands

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — May 3, 2010 — Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, estimated today that the average automotive manufacturer incentive in the U.S. was $2,654 per vehicle sold in April 2010, down $152, or 5.4 percent, from March 2010, and down $403, or 13.2 percent, from April 2009.

"Many incentives programs were continued from March into April and their effectiveness waned over time," stated Jessica Caldwell, Director of Industry Analysis for Edmunds.com. "The automakers that need extra marketing support will have to pull out a new trick for May."

According to Edmunds.com, combined incentives spending for domestic manufacturers averaged $3,286 per vehicle sold in April 2010, down from $3,410 in March 2010. From March 2010 to April 2010, European automakers decreased incentives spending by $235 to $2,536 per vehicle sold; Japanese automakers decreased incentives spending by $122 to $2,181 per vehicle sold; and Korean automakers decreased incentives spending by $390 to $1,792 per vehicle sold.

True Cost of Incentives for the Top Seven Automakers
Automaker April 2010 March 2010 April 2009
Chrysler Group (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep) $3,374 $3,300 $4,383
Ford (Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo) $3,214 $3,335 $3,618
General Motors (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Hummer, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn) $3,273 $3,507 $4,107
Honda (Acura, Honda) $1,787* $1,785 $1,480
Hyundai (Hyundai, Kia) $1,792 $2,182 $3,427
Nissan (Infiniti, Nissan) $2,451 $2,394 $2,767
Toyota (Lexus, Scion, Toyota) $2,498 $2,743* $1,634
Industry Average $2,654 $2,806 $3,057

*Denotes a record

"Honda, Mini, Porsche and Toyota, who are traditionally very conservative in their offers, currently have incentives that are remarkably high for their individual brands," reported Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs in her report on AutoObserver.com.  "Meanwhile, companies with momentum such as Ford, General Motors and Hyundai are able to cut back and let their products sell themselves."

In April 2010, the industry's aggregate incentive spending is estimated to have totaled approximately $2.62 billion, down 12.3 percent from March 2010. Chrysler, Ford and General Motors spent an aggregate of $1.4 billion, or 54.1 percent of the total; Japanese manufacturers spent $859 million, or 32.7 percent; European manufacturers spent $204 million, or 7.8 percent; and Korean manufacturers spent $144 million, or 5.5 percent.

Among vehicle segments, large trucks had the highest average incentives, $4,471 per vehicle sold, followed by luxury car at $3,526. Subcompact cars had the lowest average incentives per vehicle sold, $1,350, followed by sport cars at $1,428. Analysis of incentives expenditures as a percentage of average sticker price for each segment shows large trucks averaged the highest, 13.1 percent, followed by large cars at 11.2 percent of sticker price. Premium luxury cars averaged the lowest with 2.8 percent and premium sport cars followed with 3.6 percent of sticker price.

Comparing all brands, in April Scion spent the least, $406 followed by Subaru at $737 per vehicle sold. At the other end of the spectrum, Saab spent the most, $6,261, followed by HUMMER at $5,674 per vehicle sold. Relative to their vehicle prices, Saab and smart spent the most, 15.9 percent and 15.2 percent of sticker price, respectively; while Scion spent 2.3 and Porsche spent 2.7 percent.

Edmunds.com'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, 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 (http://www.edmunds.com/about/)
Edmunds publishes four Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive consumer information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its most popular feature, the Edmunds.com True Market Value®, is relied upon by millions of people seeking current transaction prices for new and used vehicles. Edmunds.com was named "Best Car Research Site" by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "Most Useful Web Site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com Study(SM), was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites by The Wall Street Journal and was rated "#1" in Keynote's study of third-party automotive Web sites. Inside Line launched in 2005 and is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. CarSpace launched in 2006 and is an automotive social networking Web site. AutoObserver.com launched in 2007 and provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit.

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