Tag: Incentives

By on March 2, 2017

2016 chevrolet impala

Pity the poor passenger car. Once on top, now increasingly being spoke of in sentences that use the word “endangered.”

If last month’s sales figures tell us anything, it’s that the current trend towards spacious crossovers and SUV shows no signs of abating. With the segment now relegated to second-class status, passenger car makers face rising inventories and a growing need to sweeten the sales pot.

General Motors recently idled some plants and cut shifts to draw down a glut of unsold vehicles, but February’s dismal sales did nothing to help. Well, it’s March now, so bring on the crazy sales! (Read More…)

By on February 27, 2017

2017 Chevy Silverado 1500 W/T

The pickup is as much of a stereotypical American icon as gun ownership and throwing things away. Last year was a particularly good one for trucks, with Ford F-Series sales reaching pre-recession volume and a 10-year high and Ram recording a seventh year of growth. However, with sales peaking for the other domestic labels, General Motors’ share of the market shrunk.

What’s the solution to whatever consumers find lacking with GM’s product? A price war, of course. While Ford Motor Company and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are scaling back, GM upped incentives from last February by 56 percent for the Chevrolet Silverado and 82 percent for the GMC Sierra. With the pickup segment being so important in North America, nobody wants to lose ground. Aggressive discounts are often the only way to overwhelm brand loyalty, but the practice is also guaranteed to eat into profits while annoying the competition. (Read More…)

By on February 19, 2017

2015 Honda CR-V

Sport utility and crossover vehicles have gradually become hotter than the surface of the sun as the public has come to treat sedans with the sort of disdain usually reserved for an old high school flame. It was decent while it lasted, but now you don’t even really want to acknowledge that it was ever a part of your life.

Sales have reflected this and automakers have hurried to supply an eager market with utility vehicles. While some did not quite meet demand, and have suffered for it, others are seeing rising incentives to meet the growing inventory surplus — giving us our first indications that interest in SUVs and crossovers has its limits.  (Read More…)

By on January 16, 2017

FCA_Chrysler_-_Brampton_Assembly_Plant-118lv9otvitl46gf2onfsp57uvch1

(Update: The initial story detailing new Canadian auto incentives was published on January 12. It has been updated to reflect new information.)

Canada’s new government-funded incentive program for automakers isn’t as generous as initially reported.

Last week, the federal government made changes to the Automotive Innovation Fund to allow car manufacturers, parts suppliers and R&D companies access to conditional grants that do not require repayment. Unfortunately, a communications slip-up at the country’s Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development made the pile of cash a whole lot taller than intended. (Read More…)

By on December 20, 2016

2016 BMW X1 and 340i - Image: BMW USA

BMW continues to spend industry-leading levels of money to lure luxury car buyers in the United States. Yet November was the twelfth consecutive month in which sales at the BMW Group declined, year-over-year, in the U.S..

Through the first 11 months of 2016, sales at BMW are down 10 percent compared with the same period in 2015; Mini volume is off 11 percent.

According to TrueCar, however, no automaker is spending more in incentives, on a per vehicle basis, than BMW of North America. November 2016 incentives at the BMW Group jumped 25 percent compared with November 2015 yet sales fell 16 percent.

How much cash on the hood do American luxury car buyers want? (Read More…)

By on December 2, 2016

GMC.com screenshot - Image: GMCGeneral Motors moved to increase the average incentive spend per Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC vehicle by 36 percent in November in order to clear out an inventory glut that seemingly refuses to be cleared out.

According to Autodata, General Motors now has more than 873,000 vehicles in stock, nearly three months of supply. That’s 26 percent more inventory than at this stage of 2015, when industry-wide volume was pacing at roughly the same level as today, albeit with significantly less incentivization.

J.D. Power PIN data shows that General Motors spent $4,912 per vehicle sale in November 2016, a $1,302 increase compared with November 2015. According to TrueCar, industry-wide incentive spending rose 13 percent, year-over-year, a figure skewed by the dramatic increase at America’s biggest holder of market share. (Read More…)

By on November 29, 2016

NIssan Nalley Showroom: Image - Nissan USA

After the U.S. auto industry reported all-time record sales volume in calendar year 2015, the industry grew by more than 1 percent, year-over-year, in the first-half of 2016.

But since the second-half began, auto sales have trended in the opposite direction. Compared with the July-October period of 2015, sales in the same period one year later were down 2.5 percent. U.S. auto sales declined in August, again in September, and again in October. Since July, year-over-year volume has fallen by nearly 150,000 units, dragging 2016’s year-to-date ten-month tally below last year’s record results.

Yet forecasters say November 2016 will produce a sudden turnaround. (Read More…)

By on November 16, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Politicians walk back policy promises as frequently as Ram announces special edition 1500s, so it’s not unwise to take campaign pronouncements with a big grain of salt.

Environmentalists and those close to the electric car sphere aren’t happy right now, as Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the Oval Office could put the kibosh on green ambitions. There’s talk of a rollback of fuel economy targets, of California no longer being allowed to be “special” (at least, when it comes to auto industry regulation) — basically, the sky could be falling, but they aren’t sure if it is yet.

Let’s take that frenzied speculation to its natural conclusion. Say the sky falls, environmental regulations are left gutted like tuna on a wharf, and the government incentives to buy an electric vehicle dry up.

Can EVs stand on their own? (Read More…)

By on October 29, 2016

Rear Volvo Word mark Volvo S90 Mussel Blue

First it was Hyundai flinging special discounts in the direction of imminently carless Volkswagen diesel owners. Now Volvo has added its name to the list of automakers attempting to woo this unique crop of vehicular nomads.

The approval of Volkswagen’s massive settlement deal with U.S. owners and environmental regulators on Tuesday is apparently a sales opportunity not to be missed, but Volvo is approaching it from a different direction than Hyundai. (Read More…)

By on October 27, 2016

2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited, Image: © 2016 Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars

Feeling burned by your former suitor? Want to get even with the German who caused you so much trouble and heartache?

Hyundai wants disenfranchised Volkswagen diesel owners to run into the warm arms of their caring South Korean friend and has a tailor-made deal ready to rope them in.

Commence operation “V-Plan.” (Read More…)

By on October 26, 2016

2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 EcoDiesel

Ram’s September sales surge grew its share of the full-size pickup segment, but only after Fiat Chrysler Automobiles threw incentives at buyers that easily topped those of its Detroit Three rivals.

Expect that to continue, says FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne. While some automakers, namely Ford, have slowed production to keep pace with lower demand, FCA sees an opportunity to spend more to sell more. (Read More…)

By on October 25, 2016

dealership

U.S. car buyers wandered onto dealer lots in healthy numbers in September, but only because automakers heaped a record pile of cash on the hoods.

So lofty was the snow-capped peak of incentives required to move vehicles last month, it easily exceeded the previous record set in late 2008, when car buyers lived in boxes and sold old shoes on Craigslist to afford the downpayment. (Read More…)

By on October 5, 2016

Camaro Cash on hood

The narrow victory scored by the Chevrolet Camaro in America’s pony car sales race in September 2016 was the result of General Motors finally pricing the Camaro in line with the Ford Mustang.

But General Motors still has more than four months of Camaro supply as dealers approach a much slower buying season for sports cars in general; as the auto industry at large shows signs of a gradual and modest slowdown.

Year-over-year, U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Camaro jumped 25 percent in September 2016. Compared with August, month-to-month volume rose 17 percent. To produce such gains, GM had to triple the average price cut on Camaros.  (Read More…)

By on October 5, 2016

2016 Nissan Titan XD PRO-4X on Offroad Trail, Image: © 2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

It’s increasingly looking like 2015 will be a high-water mark for U.S. auto sales, with September sales stats showing a cool-down in the new car market.

Faced with a long-predicted slump — the duration of which is still anyone’s guess — and growing competition over remaining market share, automakers have boosted incentive spending to its highest level since the depths of the recession. (Read More…)

By on October 4, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS

In September 2016, for the first time since October 2014, the Chevrolet Camaro outsold the Ford Mustang in the United States.

Year-over-year, Chevrolet Camaro sales jumped 25 percent to a five-year September high of 6,577.

With the worst Ford Mustang decline since (not coincidentally) October 2014, the Blue Oval’s pony car saw its share of the three-car Detroit pony/muscle car sector fall by 15 points to 34 percent.

Thus, the Camaro wins. Over the span of one month. By a small margin.  (Read More…)

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