The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Domestics Footed 77 Percent of April's Incentives but Captured Only 56 Percent of April Market Share

May 10, 2005

SANTA MONICA, CA — reported on May 4 that the average manufacturer automotive incentive in the United States was $2,434 per vehicle sold in April 2005, up $67, or 2.8 percent, from April 2004, and down $121, or 4.7 percent, from March 2005.'s monthly True Cost of Incentives (TCI) report takes into account all of the manufacturers' various United States incentives programs, including subvented interest rates and lease programs as well as cash rebates to consumers and dealers. To ensure the greatest possible accuracy, bases its calculations on sales volume, including the mix of vehicle makes and models for each month, as well as on the proportion of vehicles for which each type of incentive was used. The industry's aggregate incentives spending bill totaled $3.6 billion in April. Domestic manufacturers spent $2.8 billion, or 77 percent, of the total cost; Japanese manufacturers spent $528 million, or 14 percent; European manufacturers spent $178 million, or 5 percent; and Korean manufacturers spent $128 million, or 4 percent. Overall, combined incentives spending for domestic Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors nameplates averaged $3,339 per vehicle sold in April, down $133 from March 2005. Average domestic incentives have never been higher in any prior April. This month, Chrysler became the biggest spender by increasing incentives spending $28 to $3,535 per vehicle sold. At the same time, its market share increased by 0.2 percent, up to 13.8 percent. Ford decreased incentives spending by $78 to $2,986 per vehicle sold in April while its market share decreased by 0.6 percent to 17.3 percent. General Motors decreased incentives spending by $255 to $3,477 per vehicle sold while its market dropped by 1.4 percent to 25.0 percent. The combined market share of the Big Three reached an historic low of 56.1 percent in April 2005. From March to April, European automakers decreased incentives spending by $48 to $1,919 per vehicle sold and increased its market share .05 percent, up to 6.2 percent. Japanese automakers decreased incentives spending by $45 to average $1,065 per vehicle sold and gained 0.9 percent market share, climbing to an all-time high: 33 percent of the U.S. market. Korean automakers increased incentives spending by $148 to $1,885 per vehicle sold and gained 0.4 percent market share to a total of 4.5 percent. Among vehicle segments, large SUVs continued to have the highest average incentives, $4,352 per vehicle sold, while sports cars had the lowest average incentives per vehicle at $93. Looking at incentives expenditures as a percentage of MSRP for each segment, large cars were the highest, 11.1 percent, while sports cars were the lowest, 3.2 percent.
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