As automakers ramp up sales incentives, TrueCar lists five top deals


Car companies are reacting to tepid auto sales so far this year by ratcheting up the discounts.

The industry is spending about $2,773 per vehicle this month in special sales incentives and discounts, according to car shopping information company TrueCar.Com. That’s up about 8% from March of last year and 2.6% above last month.

Blame slow auto sales. Automakers have sold 2.2 million vehicles through the first two months of the year, down slightly from the same period a year ago. The market looks as if it is picking up gradually this month as the frigid weather in much of the nation recedes.


“The spring thaw has resulted in a slight improvement in vehicle sales, but not nearly the improvement analysts hoped they would see,” said Larry Dominique, executive vice president of TrueCar.

“An incentive-fueled battle is on the horizon,” he said. “Expect an aggressive final week of selling in March and an equally aggressive April.”

A TrueCar review of completed car sales transactions found five deals -- each in a major auto segment -- that stand out this month.

  • Small car: The Ford Focus SE sedan has an average sales price of $15,792. That is 16.7%, or $3,158, off the suggested price.
  • Truck: The Nissan Titan SV long-bed crew cab has an average sales price of $30,639. That is 13.6%, or $4,806, off the suggested price.
  • Sport-utility vehicle: The Jeep Compass Sport has an average sales price of $16,986. That is 13.3%, or $2,640, off the suggested price.
  • Family sedan: The Hyundai Sonata SE has an average sale price of $22,183. That is 11.7%, or $2,927, off the suggested price.
  • Luxury car: The Acura TL with “advanced package” trim level has an average sales price of $38,597. That is 9.9%, or $4,258, off the suggested price.

Overall, TrueCar expects auto sales to reach almost 1.5 million vehicles this month, up about 2% from the same month a year ago and 24% from February.
TrueCar estimates new car sales will reach 16.1 million for the full year.


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