Struggling Civic Prompts Honda to Sweeten Incentives

By

Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - March 16, 2015

With Civic sales struggling so far this year, Honda is sweetening incentives to build momentum. A combination of outstanding incentives featuring hidden discounts and a new loyalty offer equate to serious savings this month. Here's what you need to know.

Falling behind

Sales numbers are showing some troubling signs for the Civic. On the surface, sales were up slightly in February. However, overall sales in the first two months of 2015 are down 8.4% compared with the previous year.

For competitors the story has been quite different. The Toyota Corolla is up nearly 15% in the same two months. The Mazda Mazda3, though sold in fewer overall numbers, is up 24%. Not surprisingly, Honda is using incentives to spur sales.

Comparison: Honda Civic vs. Toyota Corolla vs. Mazda Mazda3>>

New incentives

Honda has a slew of deals right now on the Civic ranging from 0.9% APR, a $159 lease, and a $0 due at signing offer. However, we're most excited about a new loyalty incentive that began March 13.

The new incentive targets current Civic and Civic Hybrid owners with a $500 discount off the current gas or hybrid Civic. The program runs through June 1 and can be combined with other incentives, excluding $0 due at signing leases.

Not impressed? Consider that Honda almost never offers rebates- brands like Mazda offer loyalty money every month but Honda does not. When combined with unadvertised programs, Civic owners stand to save a lot.

Read our full pricing and deals analysis on the Civic>>

Hidden discounts

Honda tends to rely on unadvertised incentives called dealer cash. This type of incentive allows the automaker to enable discounting without hurting its brand image.

Although actual sale prices are set by dealers, current programs on the Civic can mean potential savings up to $900. This is the most we've seen on the 2015 Civic since its launch.

Editors' Top Picks: Best Compact Cars>>

Our take

We'd normally expect the Civic to sell itself, but it's getting clobbered by competitors. Honda has a lot at stake and likely won't hesitate to take the gloves off if modest improvements fail to improve sales.

We think shoppers are in a position to get a great deal right now. Current Civic and Civic Hybrid owners in particular have an unusual opportunity to save even more.

Get a quote on a Honda Civic>>

Exclusive insights

Visit our CarsDirect Pricing Insider page for pricing and deal analyses for over 300 models. Sign up for email alerts to have our analyses delivered straight to your inbox. Browse our Deals Articles for insider info on the latest new car incentives that can save you money.

Programs can be subject to change without notice. Advertised lease offers are for well-qualified buyers based on available credit and exclude tax, license, registration, and fees. Be sure to check with your CarsDirect Trusted Dealer to confirm eligibility.

Note: Sales figures according to the Automotive News Data Center.

, Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

Follow On: Google+ | Website