TodayApril 16, 2022

November auto sales – Sales % vs incentive % (increase /decrease) Nov 2012 to Nov 2013

The manufacturers’ numbers are in for November and once again 2013 is looking like a good year for almost all the car companies. Almost.

According to data from Chrysler, General Motors ($34,896) and Toyota ($29,515) were able to increase their sales month over month and year-over-year and increase the average price of their line-up. The average industry price of a vehicle decreased to $30,634 while Chrysler’s average price increased 1.8% to $31,547. Hyundai/Kia ($22,568) their sales month-over-month (Nov. 2013 versus Nov 2012) and increased their average car price, but their year-over-year pace was flat.

Flat would have been a welcome percentage to Volvo, Scion, Fiat and Volkswagen all of which saw decreases in their sales month-over-month and year-over-year.

Sales % vs incentive % (increase /decrease) Nov 2012 to Nov 2013

In this chart you want to see the line going downward from left to right. This means that the car company’s sales percentage was greater than the incentive spending year-over-year.

Driving the Nation

data courtesy of and manufacturers

In a perfect world a car would not need incentives to sell, but with heavy competition and some products getting long in the tooth car companies will put an incentive on the hood to entice buyers to cross the financial finish line.

These numbers are based on the aggregate of all the brands in a car company, not just one brand. It is the way they are reported financially and it is the way they are reported here.

The average industry incentive rate is $2,507 per car. Chrysler’s incentive rate decreased year-over-year 12.3% from $3,143 to $2,756. Chrysler is the only car company that has increased their sales month-over-month, year-over-year and decreased their incentives month-over-month, year-over-year.

General Motors’ incentives decreased 9.9% year-over-year to $3,067.

The graph where the left side is lower than the right side is cause for concern, but the biggest cause for concern is if the left side of the line is below 0 and the line is going up, as in Volkswagen Group’s case. The Volkswagen brand is bringing the entire group – Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche – down. Automotive News data says that incentives have been down since September for Volkswagen, but when you look at the data for each car group on the same year-over-year there is no other group that has lost this much sales and had this large an incentive percentage.

Ford’s incentives increased 23.4% from Nov. 2012 to Nov. 2013 while their sales increased from 7% over the same time.

Hyundai/Kia’s incentives increased 25.9% from Nov. 2012 to Nov. 2013 while their sales only increased from 7% over the same time.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.