DETROIT -- Cash rebates, interest-free loans and other incentives for new-vehicle buyers in the U.S. market fell slightly in January from December's hefty levels, an industry research group said on Wednesday.
But Autodata said the average incentive from Detroit's traditional Big Three automakers climbed to $3,808 per vehicle, up about $100 from December when they were all engaged in a costly year-end push to boost market share.
That increase was partly offset in the industry total by decreases in incentives from some Asian automakers and a decline in overall incentives on European brands.
Of the six largest automakers, No. 1 General Motors offered the largest average January incentive at $4,189 per vehicle. DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler division -- the only Detroit automaker to post higher sales for January -- was close behind at $3,904.
Ford Motor Co., which saw sales for its U.S. brands fall nearly 10 percent in January, offered an average incentive for the month totaling $3,215 per vehicle.
Asian automakers spent far less overall and actually managed to trim their average spending from December. But Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., whose January U.S. sales rose an impressive 25.7 percent, increased its month-over-month incentive spending by 24.3 percent to a total of $1,704 per vehicle.
Nissan's sales, fueled by its new Titan full-size pickup and full-size Armada sport utility vehicle as well as aggressive pricing moves, lifted its U.S. market share to 6.4 percent in January from from 4.7 percent in December.
Toyota Motor Corp., which surpassed Ford as the world's second-largest automaker last year, had January U.S. incentives averaging just $851 per vehicle, a wafer-thin drop of $27 per vehicle from December. Honda Motor Co. Ltd. spent $582 per vehicle in January, down from $684 in December.