• Honda offering cash incentives to dealers this month
  • Expected to result in big savings for buyers
  • Will help clear out surplus of 2013 Civic and Fit models

The holidays are upon us, and consumers are looking for great deals everywhere. Car buyers are no exception to this rule. To that end, American Honda Motor Company is poised to boost year-end sales this season by offering significant cash incentives to retailers throughout December. The Japanese automaker has announced that it will grant each Honda dealer a hefty $3,000 bonus for each vehicle they sell above and beyond their December 2012 total monthly sales figure.

Under the guidelines of the bonus program, a Honda dealer will be awarded the $3,000 bonus for each vehicle sold above last year's December sales mark, with a ceiling set at 20 percent over that goal. For example, if a dealer sold 200 vehicles last December and 240 vehicles this month, he or she will earn a bonus of $120,000. But any vehicles sold above the 240-unit mark would be ineligible for the bonus. Thus there is a lot of extra cash potentially available to help make vehicle purchase deals more attractive to customers.

This extra cash influx is expected to incentivize dealers to pass savings to buyers through lower bottom lines or special purchase promotions. Ideally, this practice will result in higher sales for the car company, more bonuses for the dealers and greater savings for customers. In effect, everybody wins.

A tough sales month in November is partly the impetus for Honda initiating such an assertive and tactical effort to boost sales. Although other car manufacturers have also been known to carry out similar promotional programs, Honda is generally passive when it comes to these retail cash incentives.  

The $3,000 bonus monies should not only help Honda reach its sales goal for December, but they will also likely help clear out the surplus of 2013 inventory -- specifically, Civic and Fit units. This will make more room on dealership lots for the 2014 model year stock at the start of the new year.

What it means to you: If you're in the market for a new car, particularly a compact or subcompact, you may find a very good deal at your local Honda dealer during December due to this promotion. That said, make sure you're cross-shopping other competing brands. With all the holiday sales events going on, there may be great savings everywhere throughout the festive season.

author photo

Jessica Shea Choksey is an automotive journalist and former writer/reporter for the PBS/Discovery Channel television series "MotorWeek." She began her career in journalism as an editor for numerous magazines and publications mainly outside of the automotive field. Jessica currently resides with her family, in Southern California.

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