Saturday, September 04, 2010

Car Deals Disappear As Dealers Rethink Promotions

Over the past couple of years, consumers have gotten used to dozens of promotions and incentives to purchase American made vehicles. However, as this article from the Huffington Post explains, many car dealerships and automakers are beginning to rethink huge promotions to increase profits.

For years, Americans shopping for cars were treated to all sorts of deals and incentives, especially at the end of summer. Think Cash for Clunkers, which paid up to $4,500, or promotions that offered employee discounts to everyone.

Those days are over.

Deals are becoming more scarce because automakers, newly lean and profitable, are holding the line on those profit-eating promotions. In July, they offered $1,000 less in incentives per car than a year earlier, according to

And with no one expecting the government to offer a repeat of the Clunkers program, get ready for fewer discounts on your next car.

"This may be as good as it gets, and get used to it," says Jeff Schuster, the executive director of forecasting for J.D. Power and Associates.

As a result, U.S. auto sales are at a standstill, with potential buyers waiting for more deals but automakers resisting. The industry expects this to be the worst August in 18 years, with sales barely over 1 million cars and trucks. Sales are expected to fall 3 percent from July, according to car-pricing website

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