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Rebate Wars Are Heating Up For New Cars This Month

By | Published February 20, 2014

It looks like the rebate wars are heating up again, due to lower than expected sales of new car units in January. Normally car makers try to avoid giving rebates and incentives when sales are going as planned. But when unit sales miss their goals as they did last month, they often start pumping up the rebates to get sales flowing again.

New car sales figures went from feast to famine

J.D. Power data says that December 31, 2013 was the 2nd busiest car buying day ever, and August 31 of last year was the third-busiest car sales day ever, with 116,329 new cars sold.

So we know that auto sales were really moving along briskly in December. But what happened in January to cause sales to drop? Well let's see, GM blamed the weather, you know the whole polar vortex thing. OK, we'll give them a few winter storm snow days, but don't you think people would be out buying SUVs during this time of year?

I don't buy the weather excuse, there's more to it than that. After record sales, I think buyers were taking a breather. Also with average selling prices up almost $500 in 2013, buyers must have hit a breaking point where they said enough is enough. January was also a volatile month for the world stock markets, so maybe many people got spooked.

Scanning the comments of related news stories, I saw several people posting that they make $8 an hour and can't afford to buy a new car.

The problem is not just limited to GM, because Ford and Chrysler now have incentives going as well. GM is upping the ante by padding the rebates with a bit more cash in the form of extra President's Day cash until the end of this month. You'll see below we saw rebates of $8,000 on certain Silverado vehicles.

Hey buddy can you spare a rebate? Chrysler came sputtering out of the rebate gate with a ho hum $1,000 "Lease Pull-Ahead Bonus Cash" to current Chrysler lessees. Well that's weak and boring. What if you don't have a current Chrysler lease? I won't even get off my couch for $1,000; you're going to have to give me more.

I took a quick scan around for other rebates and incentives:


General Motors logo


Ford logo

The above list is just a small sampling, so be sure to tell all your friends who are shopping for a new car to research the rebates. Of course you should make sure you read our New Car Buying Guide before you head out shopping.

Now it's your turn. Were you sitting on the fence undecided waiting for a rebate like these to come along? Will these incentives make you head into the showrooms?

Author Jeff Ostroff

About The Author: Jeff Ostroff is a consumer advocate, Founding Editor and CEO of overseeing a team of expert authors. For over 17 years, he's been the recognized authority on car buying, leasing, used cars and financing. He developed sophisticated spreadsheet tools to help consumers negotiate on a level playing field. He is a widely sought out guru, cited by the press for his expertise in savvy car buying and preventing consumer scams. Jeff has been quoted in CNN, Bloomberg, MSNBC, Wall street Journal, Consumer Reports, NY Times, Reader's Digest, and many live call in radio shows. He has covered the automotive space since 1997. Jeff also has extensive experience and expertise in selling used cars for clients on eBay and Craigslist. Connect with Jeff via Email, Twitter or on Google+. has affiliate relationships with multiple web sites. We are paid referral fees for leads or sales generated from visitors that click on some links or fill out certain forms on this site. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.