Retail market share for the domestic carmakers has increased only marginally since new incentive programmes from General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler began.

Power Information Network (PIN) said combined retail market share for the domestics was 48.8% for the first 27 days of November, a slight increase from their combined market share during the first 13 days of November (47.7%).

GM's 'Red Tag Sale', which went into effect on 13 November, has raised the company's retail share from 18.8% in the first half of the month to 19.9% on 27 November.

In contrast, Ford's retail share has declined from 15.3 to 15.1% despite the introduction of their 'Keep It Simple' incentive programme, which was announced on 16 November.

DaimlerChrysler, which launched its 'Miles of Freedom Plan' on 21 November, saw an increase in retail share from 13.6% in the first half of the month to 13.8% on 27 November.

At the industry level, retail sales from 1 to 27 November declined 15% when compared to the same time period a year ago, which is consistent with the first 13 days of November. Retail sales for five of the six major automakers declined in November, while Honda's sales in the US remained flat.

Ford, GM, DaimlerChrysler and Hyundai were down considerably, and Toyota's retail sales declined by 3%.

"One reason for these declines is that automakers have cut back on the use of incentives, with interest rate subvention expenditures down 67% versus a year ago," said PIN analyst Tom Libby.

"This November, the average interest rate on a loan for a new vehicle was 7.9%, which is up considerably from 6.4% during November 2004."

Retail market shares for the major Asian automakers have declined slightly during November, although they remain high by historical standards. Toyota's share for the is 17.4%, down from 17.9% for the first 13 days of the month. American Honda's share has slipped from 12.2 to 11.7% while Hyundai's share has dropped from 4.4 to 4.3%. Nissan Motor's market share has remained flat throughout the month at 7.8%.

"The return of incentives is beginning to weigh in on the market as the month unfolds," said JD Power economist Bob Schnorbus. "However, their full impact may not be felt until December, promising to end the year on a bright note."

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