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Now is the Time to Buy a New 2010 Vehicle

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author photo by Autotrader September 2010

The next 30 days will be the best time to get a great deal on a new 2010 model car or truck, according to research done by website, Edmunds.com. "We are still at a point where there are more 2010 vehicles on lots than 2011s. That will transition in the next 30 days and there will be fewer 2010s, so shoppers have the ability to walk up to any car and make a deal on it," said Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Edmunds.

There's still a good selection on dealer lots, plus prices are generally treading down. Edmunds also expects prices on more than 90 percent of new 2010 cars to drop further or sell at their relatively current low price during these next 30 days.

While the time between Thanksgiving and December 31 offers buyers the best prices, the selection isn't usually as good as now, said Brauer. "Automakers tightened inventories over the past year, responding to the sour economy, but this year's sluggish sales haven't even gobbled up that lower supply," he said.

That is starting to change, with dealers reporting more traffic from bargain hunters who have been waiting for the model-year closeout sales. For example, prices on the 2010 Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-series full-size pickups – along with other models that have been updated for the 2011 model year – are "particularly low," according to Edmunds.

Within the next 30 days, Edmunds predicts the large SUV segment – like the Chevrolet Suburban, Ford Expedition and Nissan Armada – to see more incentives, as well as large vans like the Chevy Express and Ford E-Series wagon, plus premium luxury cars such as the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Volvo S80.

In the first week of August, Edmunds reported that carmakers started their summer-end incentives earlier than usual this year, which helped lift July's sales. August has traditionally been the clear-out month when incentives kick in for model-year clearances.

In July, Edmunds found the average U.S. auto incentive reached $2,753 per vehicle sold, $63 dollars or 2.3 percent higher than the month before and $67 or 2.5 percent more than July 2009. Detroit automakers, led by General Motors, averaged $3,545 per vehicle sold in July, compared with $3,515 in June 2010. Japanese makers boosted incentives by $177 to $2,097 per vehicle sold in July from June 2010. Nissan North America hit its highest-ever incentive figure, said Edmunds, offering an average of $2,839 per new Nissan or Infiniti model sold in July, compared with $2,595 in June.

Since gas prices have stabilized, Edmunds also expects dealers to become more flexible when negotiating deals on 2010 hybrids, including the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Honda Insight, Mercury Milan Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid.

In spite of the times, shoppers still need to be diligent. Brauer's advice to new-car buyers is to educate themselves about current incentives and secure financing before visiting the showroom. He said people weren't prudent during last summer's Cash for Clunkers program, assuming they would get a great deal by just showing up. He said: "Don't assume you can relax and just go in and get a good deal because of the atmosphere."

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Now is the Time to Buy a New 2010 Vehicle - Autotrader