NEWS

New Car Deals: December 2015

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CARS.COM — Whether it’s a holiday gift, overdue upgrade or year-end splurge, a vehicle purchase in December can make financial sense. Over the past four years, new-car deals have climbed steadily from October through the end of the year, according to Autodata Corp. In fact, automakers have posted the year’s best incentives in December for three of the past four years.

Related: Holiday Car Deals? Strong Sales Might Make Automakers Say Bah Humbug

That may not necessarily continue for 2015, however. Automakers’ push for Black Friday deals extended this year’s high incentives into their fifth consecutive month for November. With new-car sales already at full steam, some have wondered if December might see automakers ease off the gas.

Still, the deals are out there. We looked at November’s 10 worst sales performers among the top 100 most popular sellers, according to Automotive News, and analyzed December deals in six major U.S. metro areas. Among November’s sales stinkers, here are some notable discounts to check out. Specifics in your region may vary, and remember that not every shopper qualifies for discount financing.

Dodge Dart

Dart sales in November tumbled 31.3 percent. That’s versus a strong year-ago month, but Dodge still heaped on the December deals.

  • How much could I save on a 2015 Dart? A lot. Factory cash rebates amount to $1,500 off SE and Aero trims, but they climb sharply for the other three variants (SXT, GT and Limited). Factory rebates range from $2,500 to $4,000 depending where you live — a big discount for a relatively inexpensive car.
  • What about discount financing? It ranges from zero percent for 36 months to 2.9 percent for 84 months, with as much as $1,000 bonus cash on top.
  • Are there any 2015s left? There should be. As of Dec. 11, model-year 2015 cars accounted for 34.8 percent of new Dart inventory on Cars.com.
  • What about 2016s? The discounts are still significant. Factory cash rebates amount to $1,250 on the SE and Aero, and they’re $2,250 to $3,250 on the SXT, GT and Limited. Financing offers range from 0.9 percent for 36 months to 2.9 percent for 84 months, with $500 bonus cash in certain cases.
  • When do the deals expire? Jan. 4 for most of them, but Dec. 17 in certain regions for the 2015 Dart.

Ford Focus

The Dart wasn’t the only compact car to have a November sales rout. As gas prices tumbled toward $2 a gallon, Ford Focus sales fell 24.7 percent. Now, December deals total as much as $3,250 off.

  • How much could I save on the 2015 Focus? Given certain conditions, a lot. Depending on your region, the automaker offers $2,000 to $2,500 if you finance your car with Ford, plus an extra $750 credit on your trade-in.
  • What about discount financing? It runs from zero percent for 60 months to 2.9 percent for 84 months with $1,000 to $1,500 bonus cash. Another bonus: The $750 trade-in bonus accompanies all financing offers.
  • Are there any 2015s left? Plenty. As of Dec. 11, model-year 2015 cars accounted for 42 percent of new Focus inventory on Cars.com.
  • What about 2016s? Rebates fall to a modest $500 on the 2016 Focus, and certain base (S) trims in a few regions don’t even qualify for that. Discount financing runs from 0.9 percent for 36 months to 4.9 percent for 84 months.
  • When do the deals expire? Jan. 4.

Chevrolet Sonic

Sonic sales fell 24.7 percent in November. December deals are modest, but the Sonic’s low starting price (just $15,070 for 2015, including the destination fee) makes them a larger percentage of the total price.

  • How much could I save on the 2015 Sonic? All six regions we checked offered the same $1,000 rebate on all versions of the Sonic.
  • What about financing offers? GM offers 2.9 percent for 60 months with $500 bonus cash.
  • Are there any 2015s left? There should be enough to easily find one. As of Dec. 11, model-year 2015 cars accounted for 39.2 percent of new Sonic inventory on Cars.com.
  • What about 2016s? GM offers $500 off the 2016 Sonic, but there aren’t any listed finance deals.
  • When do the deals expire? Jan. 4.

Chrysler 200

Family-sedan shoppers might score a huge deal on Chrysler’s midsize sedan, whose sales slid 27.8 percent in November.

  • How much could I save on the 2015 200? A pile. Excluding the base trim (LX), cash discounts range from $4,000 to $5,750 on the 2015 sedan. Yep, that’s nearly six big ones off in certain regions.
  • What about financing offers? Chrysler offers 3.84 percent financing for 60 months on the LX, but other trims are eligible for zero-percent financing for 75 months with $1,500 to $3,000 bonus cash. There’s also 1.9 percent financing for 84 months, but the bonus cash drops to just $500.
  • Are there any 2015s left? Yes, but you might have to look a bit harder. As of Dec. 11, model-year 2015 cars accounted for 17.7 percent of new 200 inventory on Cars.com.
  • What about 2016s? The deals are still big. Excluding the rebate-less LX model, Chrysler offers $3,500 to $4,500 off the 2016 200. Discount financing ranges from 3.84 percent for 60 months on the LX to zero percent for 60 months on other trims with $1,500 to $2,000 bonus cash. Like on the 2015 sedan, you can also get 1.9 percent financing for 84 months, but bonus cash drops to $500.
  • When do the deals expire? Jan. 4 for most deals, but Dec. 17 for certain regions on the 2015 car.

GMC Sierra

Despite strong pickup truck sales this year, the GMC Sierra couldn’t keep up with a monster November 2014; sales fell 26.7 percent this past November.

  • How much could I save on the 2015 Sierra? It depends. Factory rebates on the Sierra range from $2,000 to $2,750, but GMC is advertising a holiday sale with up to $10,298 off select 2015 Sierra SLT crew cabs of all grades (1500, 2500 and 3500) in every region we searched. A customer service representative said the offer applies only at participating dealers on a list of particular trucks identified by vehicle identification numbers.
  • What about financing offers? GMC offers zero-percent financing for 60 months with $500 to $750 bonus cash on all Sierra 1500s except the Denali. For the Sierra 2500 and 3500 pickups, GMC offers 3.9 percent financing for 60 months with $500 to $750 bonus cash.
  • Are there any 2015s left? Yes, tons. As of Dec. 11, model-year 2015 trucks accounted for 55.1 percent of new Sierra inventory on Cars.com.
  • What about 2016s? GMC’s holiday special applies only to 2015 trucks. The 2016 Sierra has much smaller rebates — up to $1,000 in cash rebates and 3.9 percent financing for 60 months with no bonus cash.
  • When do the deals expire? Jan. 4.

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