The average manufacturer incentive per vehicle sold in the United States reached a record high of $US2,747 in June 2004, up $123, or 4.7%, from June 2003, and up $240, or 9.6%, from May 2004, according to

Overall, combined incentives spending for domestic Chrysler, Ford and General Motors nameplates also reached an all-time high at $3,819 per unit in June, up $358 from May 2004.

Chrysler increased its incentives spending in June by $321 to $3,569 per vehicle and gained 1.1% of market share. Chrysler’s current market share of 14.5% is the highest since started tracking industry trends in January 2002. In June, GM’s market share receded by 1.4% to 25.6% despite increasing incentives spending for the third month in a row, raising its average by $389 to $4,312 per vehicle. Ford offered the largest monthly increase in incentives spending of any domestic manufacturer in June, raising its average by $401 to $3,328 per vehicle, but its market share remained largely unchanged at 18.1%.

Import automakers also felt the pressure In June 2004. Korean automakers spent $1,868 – up $55 for the month – and European automakers spent $2,335 – up $293 per vehicle sold.  European incentives levels have not been this high since May 2002, according to Japanese automakers spent $921 per vehicle sold in June, up $22 from the prior month.

Of all brands, Mini spent the least on incentives per vehicle sold, $41, while Scion spent only $101 per vehicle and Porsche spent only $266. At the other end of the spectrum, Cadillac spent the most incentives dollars per vehicle for the fourth consecutive month, $6,325, followed by Lincoln at $5,610 and Oldsmobile at $4,939.

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Among vehicle segments, large SUVs continued to offer the highest average incentives in June at $4,774 per vehicle. Other segments with high incentives were large cars at $3,754 and luxury cars at $3,680. Compact cars had the lowest average incentives at $1,706, followed by luxury sport cars at $1,931 and compact SUVs at $1,945.

Midsize SUVs have lost the most market share since June 2003, decreasing from 12.7% to 10.9%, while their average incentives increased from $2,903 to $2,949 during the same period. Meanwhile, minivans have gained the most market share, climbing from 6.8% to 7.7%, while their average incentives decreased from $2,807 to $2,678.

“The gas price hike seems to have encouraged consumers to strongly consider the practicality of minivans – a competitive segment that has recently introduced many new, appealing products,” said Jane Liu, vice president of data analysis for

“Fortunately for automakers, currently minivans are about as profitable as SUVs.”