Bloomberg News

Automakers Trimmed September U.S. Incentives 3.5%, Autodata Says

October 03, 2011

Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Automakers, while beating estimates for industry sales, reduced spending on incentives for U.S. customers in September by 3.5 percent to an average of $2,653 per vehicle, according to Autodata Corp.

Ford Motor Co., the second-largest U.S. automaker, cut spending on discounts and promotions by 6.6 percent from a year earlier to an estimated $2,845 per vehicle, Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey-based Autodata said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. Chrysler Group LLC’s incentives fell 5.7 percent to $3,425. Nissan Motor Co. reduced discounts by 5.7 percent to $2,748.

Industrywide light-vehicle sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 13.1 million in September. That’s the fastest pace since April’s 13.2 million and exceeds the 12.8 million rate that was the average of 14 analysts’ estimates. Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., which returned to full output last month for the first time since Japan’s tsunami in March, boosted incentive spending during the month.

“There will be temptation for automakers to pump up incentives to grab that market share that was lost over the summer,” Dan Montague, an analyst at the Autofacts forecasting unit of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, said yesterday. “Incentives will rise, there’s no question about that. But there won’t be any type of incentive war like what we’ve seen in the past.”

Honda, the second-largest Japanese automaker by U.S. sales, increased spending by 6 percent to $2,337 per vehicle. Toyota raised incentives 5.5 percent to an estimated $2,238, Autodata said. General Motors Co. raised incentives 1.9 percent to $3,289 per vehicle.

Through September, industrywide average spending on U.S. incentives fell 9.6 percent to $2,498 per vehicle.

--Editors: Bill Koenig, Jamie Butters

To contact the reporter on this story: Craig Trudell in Southfield, Michigan at ctrudell1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net


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