Toyota and Nissan boosted spending on incentives in April, compared with a year ago, as both automakers grabbed larger chunks of the market.
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. spent an average of $1,015 per vehicle on incentives in April, according to industry research firm Edmunds.com. That was almost double the average $511 it spent in April 2004, but down from the $1,090 spent in March 2005.
Nissan North America spent an average of $1,822 per vehicle in April, up nearly $800 from a year ago. In March, it spent an average of $1,634 per vehicle.
For the industry overall, incentives averaged $2,434 per vehicle in April, according to Edmunds.com.
The firm says automakers spent a total of $3.65 billion on incentives for the month. The Big 3 spent $2.8 billion, or 77 percent of the total cost. Japanese manufacturers spent $528 million, or 14 percent, European manufacturers spent $178 million, 5 percent, and Korean manufacturers spent $128 million, 4 percent.
The Big 3 averaged $3,339 per vehicle for April 2005, the highest April on record for domestic incentives, according to Edmunds.com.
DaimlerChrysler increased its average incentives spending by $28 from March to April to $3,535 per vehicle. In April 2004, it spent an average of $2,944 per vehicle.
That increase, combined with a $255 cut in spending by General Motors, put DaimlerChrysler in the top spot for incentives spending for the month, according to Edmunds.com.
GM spent an average of $3,477 per vehicle in April. That was nearly $500 per vehicle less than what it spent a year ago.
Ford Motor Co. trimmed its incentives spending by $78 from March to $2,986 per vehicle in April. It spent an average of $2,914 per vehicle in April 2004.
Japanese automakers averaged $1,065 per vehicle sold in April; a decrease in incentives spending overall from March.
American Honda Motor Co. decreased its incentives spending from $549 in April 2004 to $470 in April 2005.
European automakers averaged $1,919 per vehicle sold in April 2005, a decrease from March, while Korean automakers increased incentives in April from March to an average of $1,885 per vehicle.
Says Edmunds.com analyst Michael Chung: We see a trend of slightly increasing incentives as we head into summer with the biggest jump in May as manufacturers ramp up for the big Memorial Day push.