American Honda Motor Co. is offering cash incentives to dealers if they exceed their December 2012 sales this month. The automaker is paying U.S. dealers $3,000 for every Honda brand vehicle they sell above their December 2012 total through January 2nd, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The incentives are limited to 20 percent of 2012′s December sales, so if a dealer sold 100 cars last December and sells 130 vehicles this month, they’d be capped at 20 vehicles’ worth of incentives, or $60,000. Dealers can use the cash any way they wish, either to pass it along to customers, reward salespeople, or keep it as profits. Some may use it to reduce financing costs or help out customers who are upside down on their trade ins. All new 2012, 2013, and 2014 Honda models are eligible. Acura vehicles are not included in the program.
Laurie McCants, general manager of Honda of Covington, in suburban New Orleans, said, “The banks limit the amount you can finance. If someone is $7,000 upside down, other manufacturers can offer huge rebates to get them financed. Honda has historically not had big rebates. We’ve already said this morning we know some customers who would like to do trade-ins, but are seriously upside down. We’re contacting them and saying, ‘Come see us after Christmas,’ hoping we’re at the bonus money level.”