People keep their eyes on automaker incentives for various reasons. Customers are hunting deals. Analysts hunt carmakers that are sitting on a glut of cars. Incentive numbers don’t always tell the full story, says Edmunds. In August, incentive spend was subdued and stable. Automakers and dealers have become adept in camouflage though, and the reported stability of incentive spending doesn’t factor in some of the “hidden incentives.”
Says Edmunds Vice Chairman Jeremy Anwyl:
“Automakers and dealers have been very creative this summer with how they’re packaging their deals and boosting sales numbers, whether through controversial stair-step incentive programs or by working with lenders to expand credit. Many of these programs are essentially impossible to quantify, but their cost to the manufacturers is real.”
BMW made headlines it did not want to make with a special offer to dealers on the last day of July. The Wall Street Journal reported that dealers received discounts of as much as $7,000 per 2012-model car, as long as each vehicle was reported as sold on that day only. The cars could then be offered to retail buyers at strong discounts with dealers still turning a good profit.
|Average True Cost of Incentives (TCI) by Car Manufacturer|
|Manufacturer||August ’12||July ’12||August ’11||MoM||YoY|