SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- As industry vehicles sales have sagged, it's well known that that automakers' incentive spending has edged higher in their effort to move the metal. Now Edmunds.com's analysis of incentive spending shows a record number of models have reached the lofty level of $10,000 per vehicle in incentives.
A record 10 vehicles in July recorded a Total Cost of Incentive (TCI) of more than $10,000. (TCI is Edmunds.com's proprietary calculation of all incentives on a volume-weighted basis.) Two were BMW models; the rest were General Motors vehicles wearing Cadillac, Saab or Hummer nameplates.
A record two models - BMW's flagship 7-Series sedan and Saab's 9-7X SUV - have averaged a $10,000 plus incentive for the entire year so far. In fact, the 7-Series is approaching the $20,000 mark.
n order of the amount of incentive, the 10 models recording a TCI of more than $10,000 in July were: BMW 7-Series; Saab 9-7X; Cadillac XLR; Cadillac Escalade; Cadillac Escalade ESV; Cadillac Escalade EXT; Hummer H2SUT; BMW 6-Series; Cadillac STS; and Saab 9-5.
10 Models with More Than $10,000 in Incentives in July
Make Model Volume *MSRP TCI
BMW 7 Series 1,006 $76,800 $18,704
Saab 9-7X 405 $40,935 $14,559
Cadillac XLR 73 $80,690 $14,130
Cadillac Escalade 1,775 $55,990 $13,365
Cadillac Escalade ESV 842 $58,490 $13,357
Cadillac Escalade EXT 329 $54,890 $13,192
HUMMER H2 SUT 80 $57,470 $11,588
BMW 6 Series 485 $76,600 $10,723
Cadillac STS 1,046 $44,515 $10,578
Saab 9-5 227 $37,685 $10,162
By comparison, only one model averaged $10,000 in incentives throughout all of 2006 and 2007. None hit that milestone in the 2002 to 2005 timeframe.
At least three vehicles every month so far in 2008 have had a TCI of more than $10,000. May saw a half dozen models with a TCI of more than $10,000 a vehicle; March had four; and January, February, April and June had three models in that incentive territory.
By comparison, four vehicles hit the $10,000 mark in July of 2007, but, even in September 2004, the month with the highest industry TCI on record, not a single model had an incentive of more than $10,000.
In total, Edmunds.com's calculations shows July 2008 was the 10th highest month for incentive spending since it started calculating TCI in 2002.