US: Automakers' incentive spending down again

By Graeme Roberts | 1 November 2012

US automotive incentives shrank again in October, even as dealerships continued to ring up healthy sales numbers, according to Edmunds.com which said the auto industry spent US$2,124 per vehicle in October, down 3.3% from September and 1.4% down year on year.

“Buyers are ignoring the stagnant incentives and are happily jumping back in to the new car market,” said senior analyst Jessica Caldwell.

“It’s not like they’re getting huge deals on new cars that they couldn’t get two or three months ago. They’re buying new cars quite simply because they’re ready to.”

Edmunds said in September incentives fell for the first time in five months, even as the auto industry produced its best monthly SAAR of the year.

Earlier, it forecast October would see the second-highest monthly SAAR of the year at 14.8m light vehicles, a figure that ultimately may be affected slightly by the damage caused by the Sandy superstorm along the mid-Atlantic seaboard.

Ford was the only manufacturer out of the top six auto companies to increase its month-to-month incentive spending in October - 2.7% from September to $2,788 per vehicle. Honda’s incentive spending fell the most of any major automaker, sliding 15.6% from September.