Edmunds.com Reports True Cost of Incentives for March; Incentives to Rise Through the Spring and Summer

Edmunds.com Reports True Cost of Incentives for March; Incentives to Rise Through the Spring and Summer


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Edmunds.com Reports True Cost of Incentives for March; Incentives to Rise Through the Spring and Summer

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — April 1, 2008 — Edmunds.com the premier online resource for automotive information, estimated today that the average automotive manufacturer incentive in the U.S. was $2,519 per vehicle sold in March 2008, essentially unchanged from February 2008, and up $94, or 3.9 percent, from March 2007.

"Incentives are likely to rise through the spring and summer," stated Jesse Toprak, Executive Director of Industry Analysis for Edmunds.com. "We anticipate that this will be especially true for the European automakers, as long as the Euro remains strong."

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.

According to Edmunds.com, combined incentives spending for domestic manufacturers averaged $3,424 per vehicle sold in March 2008, up from $3,384 in February 2008. From February 2008 to March 2008, European automakers increased incentives spending by $236 to $3,067 per vehicle sold; Japanese automakers decreased incentives spending by $73 to $1,295 per vehicle sold; and Korean automakers increased incentives spending by $352 to $2,126 per vehicle sold.

True Cost of Incentives for the "Big Six" Automakers
Automaker March 2008 February 2008 March 2007
Chrysler Group $4,142 $3,520 $4,237
Ford $3,017 $3,317 $3,114
General Motors $3,271 $3,328 $2,832
Honda $1,297 $1,209 $1,157
Nissan $2,031 $2,159 $1,043
Toyota $898 $1,044 $714

In March 2008, the industry's aggregate incentive spending is estimated to have totaled approximately $3.34 billion, up 13.6 percent from February 2008. Chrysler, Ford and General Motors spent an aggregate of $2.3 billion, or 67.7 percent of the total; Japanese manufacturers spent $658 million, or 19.7 percent; European manufacturers spent $290 million, or 8.7 percent; and Korean manufacturers spent $130 million, or 3.9 percent.

"Chrysler pulled up the industry average incentives spend this month," commented Edmunds' AutoObserver.com Senior Editor Michelle Krebs. "The investment in incentives seems aimed at jump-starting sales to improve the company's bottom-line numbers. This coincides with its recent announcement of a two-week summer shutdown and other dramatic plans to reduce operating expenses."

Among vehicle segments, large trucks had the highest average incentives, $4,368 per vehicle sold, followed by large SUVs at $4,094. Compact cars had the lowest average incentives per vehicle sold, $1,023, followed by sport cars at $1,574. Analysis of incentives expenditures as a percentage of average sticker price for each segment shows large trucks averaged the highest, 13.6 percent, followed by large cars at 13.1 percent of sticker price. Sports cars averaged the lowest, 5.3 percent, followed by luxury sport cars at 5.7 percent of sticker price.

Comparing all brands, in March Mini spent the least — virtually nothing — followed by Scion at $131 per vehicle sold. At the other end of the spectrum, Cadillac spent the most, $5,532, followed by Saab at $5,501 per vehicle sold. Relative to their vehicle prices, Dodge spent the most, 16.7 percent and Saab followed in at 15.3, while Mini spent virtually nothing and Scion spent just 0.8 percent.

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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