Day-after-Christmas sales aren’t just for the local department store. The week leading up to New Year’s Eve has historically seen a big push to sell cars, too — a key factor driving December’s elevated overall incentives. The month’s final week is peak season for deals as automakers push to meet year-end sales goals and clear through final inventory from the outgoing model year.
Incentives this month are on track to hit a record amount — nearly $4,700 per car and about 11 percent of MSRP on average, says Tyson Jominy, who heads up J.D. Power’s data consultancy. And the week after Christmas is on pace to exceed even that.
“In four out of the past five years, the final sales week of December carried the highest [incentive] spend level for the year,” Jominy told Cars.com. “We are anticipating a similar pattern this year. Spending is currently pacing towards $4,660 [per] unit during the period after Christmas.”
It’s likely much of those incentives will come on cars from the outgoing 2019 model year. As of mid-December, 2019s still accounted for about 35 percent of new vehicles in Cars.com’s inventory. That’s slightly above the percentage of outgoing 2018s at this point in 2018. Which brands have a glut? Try Volkswagen (76.5% of all Cars.com inventory remains 2019s as of mid-month), Ram (52.6%), Ford (51.9%), Nissan (44.4%) and Honda (44.1%). Dealers selling all five brands should have plenty of 2019 models to offload, possibly at big discounts.
Which cars have particularly high deals? Start with the four models we spotlighted in our rundown of December discounts. Deals of this quartet — three SUVs and a sedan — extend through Jan. 2, 2020:
Want more? Consider a couple of pickup trucks, a sedan and an SUV below. We’ll highlight the cash discounts, but creditworthy shoppers might be able to score discount financing in lieu of cash. Oh, and you don’t have to wait until the eggnog has turned: The deals below are available now.
Ford is offering $6,750 off the 2019 F-150 pickup truck’s mid-grade XLT, which amounts to roughly 12-19% off list price depending on what you get. The 2019 model year still accounts for nearly two-thirds of new F-150 inventory as of this writing, and the popular XLT grade makes up 44% of that group. On select examples that have been on dealer lots for extended time, Ford offers considerably more: $7,500 to $12,210 based on average dealer discounts, depending on market; in some cases, that approaches 20% off. Deals expire Jan. 2.