2010 Toyota MatrixEnlarge Photo
During March, GM will have spent an estimated $594 million on incentives, while Ford will spend about $489 million and Toyota about $395 million, according to the pricing-intelligence firm TrueCar.
Looking at incentives per vehicle, Chrysler is in the lead, with $3,491 per vehicle, followed by GM ($3,351) and Nissan ($2,993). Across the industry, automakers have offered an average $2,800 per vehicle in incentives.
Altogether, automakers will have spent more than $2.86 million on incentives during March.
Toyota’s March Sales Event program, which runs through April 5, offers zero-percent financing or special lease deal to “qualified buyers,” on a range of models including the 2010 Toyota Highlander, Matrix, Prius, Tundra, Venza, Avalon, Camry, and Corolla.
The program is one of the most aggressive incentive programs ever for Toyota, but for years GM, Ford, and Chrysler have been relying on incentives to move some of their models.
And after just a month, it appears that Toyota might be bouncing back from a recall-related slump. TrueCar is predicting March sales numbers that rank Toyota, Ford, and GM all up from February and within a few thousand units of each other. Most notably, the firm is predicting that Toyota sales will be up more than 70 percent, to 170,552.
Average March incentives are estimated to be higher that those in February for all but Nissan and Chrysler.
Truecar is also predicting that sales of luxury brands are up significantly this month versus last—perhaps an indication of economic optimism.