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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Discounted Cars, Anyone?

Automotive sales forecasts are not very promising. Summer is slowly creeping up. You know what that means, right? Buying season! Well, not really. Unless if automakers are selling 30-40 mpg vehicles, I’d say there’ll be a huge sales slump. It was good during the first quarter, but we’ve seen a lot of oil price increases in the world market, and the economy is just not doin’ well. GM just closed 4 of its plants, those that manufactured SUVs and trucks. That’s a step in the right direction. They plan to start focusing on fuel efficient cars, which is what other automakers should be doing. And those that are not planning on doing that are employing various marketing strategies to get those chunky SUVs and trucks out of the dealer lots.

We’ve seen a lot of incentives being offered to consumers nowadays. There’s free gasoline for a specific period of time. There are a few who offer discount cards. Probably the most popular options are low financing and rebates. There’s a quiet desperation in the way automakers are offering these cars to the buying public.

In an article entitled “Top 10 Deeply Discounted 2008 Cars”, Terry Jackson highlights ten highly marketable cars (before oil prices soared through the roof, that is) that are offered at a significantly discounted price. It’s unbelievable, but if you’ve been to the gas pumps recently, I’m sure you’ll know why.

Top 10 New-Car Discounts
  • Chrysler 300C. The full-sized sedan comes with either a $3,000 rebate or financing ranging from zero percent to 4.9 percent.

  • Dodge Ram 1500. Dodge's full-sized pickup truck carries either a $5,000 rebate or zero percent to 1.9 percent financing.

  • Ford Explorer. Once the most popular sport utility vehicle, the Explorer carries rebates from $3,000 to $4,000 and financing from 0.9 percent to 6.9 percent.

  • Mercury Grand Marquis. A large sedan that can carry six people and their luggage, it can be had with a rebate of $5,500 to $6,500 or financing of zero percent to 3.9 percent.

  • Cadillac DTS. The large sedan in the Cadillac lineup is not as quick a seller as the new, smaller CTS. So, GM is offering a $3,000 rebate or 5.9 percent to 7.9 percent financing.

  • GMC Envoy. This midsized SUV has been packed with a $3,000 rebate or 2.9 percent to 5.9 percent financing.

  • Nissan Pathfinder. Nissan, which is not enjoying the same sales success as some other Japanese manufacturers, is offering deals on this SUV that include rebates of $2,250 to $3,250 or 1.9 percent to 2.9 percent financing.

  • BMW 7 Series. While not offering direct-to-customer rebates on its luxury 7 Series sedan, BMW is giving dealers $3,500 to $5,000 in incentives. Such incentives should be a part of a buyer's price negotiations.

  • Land Rover LR2. Land Rover is offering a $3,000 incentive on this SUV.

  • Lexus RX 350. Lexus is being a little stingier than some other manufacturers when it comes to incentives, but is offering dealers as much as $2,000 on the RX 350.
If you do a double-check you’d notice that almost all of the largest automakers are on the list. In fact, during a research it was determined that over 150 models are offered on discounted prices. Some incentives are directly offered to buyers, but most are offered to the dealers. It’s their choice if they want to use that during buyer’s price negotiations, which they should if they want to have those dealer lots vacant by the end of summer and spring. All in all, it’s a good list. I bet BMW and Cadillac will have the most sales. We’ll see.

Source: Bankrate