Not sure about you, but these past few weeks has seen yours truly think more about remdesivir and potatoes (at alternating times) than the Buick brand. I’d put the ratio somewhere close to 99:1, though you could add an extra digit to that first number and probably still be bang-on.
Yes, it’s a brand that’s not top of mind, earning itself more headlines for ditching cars than for adding crossovers. And yet, when our lockdowns end the the virus is vanquished and the open road cries out its alluring siren song, cushy, long-legged cruising machines might be the first thing to cross your mind. It seems Buick has just the thing for you, but you’ll have to act fast — and search long and hard.
Yesterday was a sad, sad day for lovers of the traditional domestic full-size sedan — a rapidly vanishing breed. The last Chevrolet Impala rolled out of Detroit-Hamtramck, and with it the last General Motors big car.
It’s a sign of the times. By the end of this year, Buick’s lineup won’t even play host to a single car, let alone a big, four-door one. Cadillac dropped its CT6 in January. But if you’re thinking that the Impala’s discontinuation will lead to immediate, juicy discounts, think again.
A perplexing vehicle we discussed not long ago has never been cheaper, but don’t expect to read about it in an ad.
The Volkswagen Arteon, a large-ish midsize premium sedan that exists despite the presence of Audi beneath the VW Group umbrella, was apparently struck by Cupid’s arrow on Valentine’s Day. Contained in that arrow (fired from a window at VW of America HQ) was incentives.
Jeep dealers are now discounting Gladiator models by as much as $9,000, indicating demand for the Wangler-based pickup has seriously cooled off. Considering the insane markups we saw at launch, that’s not much of an insult.
Now that Fiat Chrysler only reports sales on a quarterly basis — an obnoxious trend sweeping through the industry like a plague — we don’t know how many Gladiators leave dealer lots month-to-month. It looks like the pickup averaged a hair above 5,000 U.S. deliveries every thirty days in 2019. That’s a far cry from the midsize pickup segment leaders, but it was also the first year of Gladiator production.
With oodles of character, legitimate off-road capabilities and higher-than-average pricing, it’s also a bit of an odd duck. While interesting designs can occasionally be too much for a (sometimes large) subset of shoppers, pricing can make or break a car’s sales prowess. Some are of the mind that Jeep expected too much from consumers and that these lofty discounts are proof.
In the lengthy run-up to the Mustang Mach-E‘s arrival date, Ford made the fairly unusual decision to order dealers not to advertise the EV crossover at a price that falls below MSRP. Ford wants its first ground-up electric vehicle to sell for full price, and to ensure it does, it made the even more unusual choice of eliminating invoice pricing, making both invoice and MSRP the same.
At the customer-dealer level, things may be different, but not all buyers have to worry about paying full MSRP for the Mach-E. The first discounts are on the books, but you’ll need to be a member of the Blue Oval clan to ensure any savings.
Earlier this fall, word arose that Fiat Chrysler had resurrected a practice from the bad old days of the company — a sales bank of unallocated vehicles churned out by over-productive factories and pushed on dealers with little use for them. The company claimed otherwise, saying that its new “predictive analytics” system was simply in the process of being refined to better guide the flow of certain models and configurations to dealers.
With 2019 nearly at an end, unordered inventory is once again on the rise, Bloomberg reports. And not by any small amount, either. In response, FCA is reportedly pulling out all the stops to get these vehicles into consumers’ hands before 2020.
Back before we had standards and practices barring tainted food from store shelves, there was a colossal stretch of history when you could buy discounted meat that was well past its best-buy date. The older the cheaper.
These days, those kinds of discounts really only apply to inedible items — like cars. But you don’t have to suffer any of the ramifications of eating thrice-cooked, spoiled meats when you get a car that the manufacturer decides is no longer fit for human consumption.
It’s no secret that Ford routinely cleans up in the muscle- and pickup-related segments, often to the chagrin of General Motors. The Blue Oval routinely outsells GM in both fields. Eager to change a few minds, Chevrolet began offering a $2,500 discount to Mustang owners (or lessees) interested in purchasing a Camaro. That rebate rose to $3,000 last month.
This month, the General is making another offer. As part of its Black Friday Sales Event, Chevy is willing to part with the Camaro at a 12-percent discount below MSRP. The only restraint is that it has to be a V8-powered SS model, making this catch feel like more of a perk — as we wouldn’t mind seeing more of them on the road.
Not happy with sales thus far this year, General Motors wants Ford Mustang owners to know there’ll be cash waiting for them should they wander into a dealer in search of a Chevrolet Camaro.
As 2019 draws to a close, GM’s pony car sits in third place in the niche segment’s sales standings. This, despite a 2019 model year refresh and a greater availability of four-cylinder offerings. Maybe a few grand will compel rival owners to make the switch?
Lovers of low-rent vehicles bemoaned Ford’s decision to cull its small-car herd, shedding tears at the loss of the Fiesta and Focus, and no doubt choking back a few sobs at the impending loss of the midsize Fusion sedan. Finding a five-passenger vehicle priced below $20,000 is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, they cried.
Indeed, the supply of low-cost cars is shrinking, though Nissan seems to tuned in to the laments of penny-pinching shoppers. Over at Ford, the discontinuation of the Fiesta and Focus means the three-cylinder, front-drive EcoSport S — a subcompact Indian import we’ve, um, mentioned on this website in the past — is the only Blue Oval ride with an MSRP south of $20k, though adding a destination charge pole-vaults it over that threshold.
Before incentives, that is.
Who’s talking about the C7 Corvette these days? Precious few, that’s who, as the recent appearance of the mid-engined C8 has sucked all the attention away from the current-generation Chevrolet two-seater.
This situation, paired with the need to clear existing inventory, could be advantageous for buyers of the departing model, assuming you’re ready to shell out nearly six figures for the hottest C7s around.
Studies have shown that purchasing a new Jeep Wrangler is almost as stable an investment as buying gold. In terms of retaining value, the Wrangler is king, boasting a rate of depreciation that undercuts the industry average by half.
With this in mind, it’s not common to see people shopping around, sniffing out boffo bargains on hard-to-sell Wranglers polluting local dealer lots. It simply isn’t a thing. If you’re in the market for one, however, now may be a good time to start searching.
Flat new vehicle sales and an industry that’s far more interested in making crossover lovers’ dreams come true add up to a poor environment for a traditional new car buyer.
We’ve already told you how high demand for a shrinking supply of off-lease sedans and hatchbacks has sent used car prices through the roof compared to just a few years ago. That erased a go-to option for many thrifty buyers. In the new car market, however, automakers’ need to boost profits in a stagnant market means incentive spending is dropping as fast as used car prices are rising.
It’s not just sedans that saw a decline in discounts last month.
This time last year, automakers were busy offering discounts to Houston-area residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. With Hurricane Florence now leaving billions of dollars in damage in her wake, we appear to be settling into an new trend of annual incentives stemming from natural disasters. It’s like truck month for a very specific and unfortunate consumer group.
While none of the current deals are on par with replacing a vehicle obliterated by the storm, they are nice little incentives that could help influence your purchasing decisions. CarsDirect compiled a short list of the manufacturers offering discounts if customers can prove their automobile was lost to an Act of God this month.
It’s not fair to say there’s no truth in advertising; commercials often show vehicles driving in a straight line down a dry road, and we all know they can do that. Only the most gullible among us thinks a new muscle car will improve their love life faster than Billy Dee Williams can crack open a can of Colt 45.
All too often, smokin’ deals do not await shoppers who leave the house without reading the fine print. And even that fine print can hide whether you’re actually getting a bargain. With President’s Day coming up on Monday, here’s a few examples of juicy car promotions that are sure to waste someone’s time.