The fastest-growing segments of the market this year will be luxury cars and light trucks, predicts auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers. That means sharp buyers should be able to mine at least some of the deals driving those red-hot sales.
“The luxury/large/sport segments grew 15.9 per cent in February, and are up 24.7 per cent [for the year to date]” notes DesRosiers in a recent report.
“These will be critical segments to watch all year,” he says, as “Canada is poised to have a blow-out vehicle sales year.
“I’m not predicting that just yet, but everything is coming into focus fairly quickly. The real test will be the next three months, which are the most popular vehicle buying months each year.”
This is the time of year when auto companies pull out all the stops. They accelerate product launches, sex up promotions and juice sales with all sorts of enticing offers. The expensive end of the market is alive with sales sweeteners.
Cadillac: GM Canada has as much as $5,000 in play on the luxury version of the CTS wagon, and that does not include any dealer discount a tough negotiator should be able to squeeze out of a hungry, anxious dealer. The CTS wagon is a very European ride, and a totally sensible alternative to a crossover SUV.
Ford: The Flex Titanium with AWD (all-wheel drive) is the most luxurious version of this crossover. The Flex has received only a tepid response among buyers, which is a shame. Here we have a hugely comfortable ride, with massive amounts of room and plenty of technology – useful technology. Great seats, too. Best of all, Ford of Canada has discounts of as much as $4,000 in play, not including the potential dealer discount.
Honda: The CR-Z has a $1,000 factory-to-dealer incentive in play, plus that dealer discount you may or may not be able to claim. By definition, hybrids are premium vehicles, and so we’ve included the CR-Z in this group.
You’re probably never going to recover the price premium you pay for a hybrid, no matter how long you own it, and regardless of what happens to pump prices. Hybrids are a luxury. If you want pure fuel efficiency, there are plenty of less expensive options. But if you want a discounted hybrid, the CR-Z is an option.
Subaru: Every week I get mails complaining about the price differential between Subarus in Canada and those sold in the U.S. The short answer to this is simple: If you think you can get a better deal in the U.S., go buy your Subaru there. That’s how capitalism works.
But before you do, have a look at what Subaru Canada is offering in terms of cash discounts. Take the Tribeca SUV. Subaru has a dizzying array of rebates available here and, for the right buyer, they could add up to as much as $4,000 in discounts, perhaps more. Add in whatever dealer offers there are to be had, and the Tribeca’s price starts to look quite interesting.
As usual, Deals of the Week obtained pricing information from www.carcostcanada.com, among other sources. Here are the numbers.
2011 Honda CR-Z Sports Coupe
- MSRP: $23,490
- Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,495
- Dealer discount (estimated): $500
- Factory discount: $1,000 (Non-stackable Trading Dollars factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Taxable subtotal: $23,485
- Total price with 13% HST: $26,538.05
2012 Ford Flex Titanium AWD
- MSRP: $43,199
- Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax and Green Levy: $1,600
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,500
- Factory discount: $3,000 (Delivery Allowance factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Taxable subtotal: $40,299
- Total price with 13% HST: $45,537.87
- Factory rebate: $1,000 (Ford Custom Car Event factory-to-customer rebate)
- Final price: $44,537.87
2012 Cadillac CTS Wagon 3.0L Luxury AWD
- MSRP: $43,575
- Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,695
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,700
- Taxable subtotal: $43,570
- Factory discount: $3,000 (Stackable Cash delivery allowance factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Total price with 13% HST: $45,844.10
- Factory discount: $1,000 (Cash for Lease factory-to-customer rebate)
- Factory discount: $500 (Canadian Forces Appreciation Program)
- Factory discount: $500 (Auto Show Bonus factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Final price: $43,344.10
2012 Subaru Tribeca Premier
- MSRP: $45,495
- Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,695
- Dealer discount (estimated): $2,150
- Taxable subtotal: $45,040
- Factory discount: $3,000 (Alternate Cash factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Factory discount: $250 (Auto Show Offer factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Total price with 13% HST: $47,222.70
- Factory rebate: $750 (Athlete Cash Back factory-to-customer rebate)
- Final price: $46,272.70
- $750 rebate must be combined with lease or finance offers – 3.9% finance rate for 48 months, 3.9% lease rate for 36 months
Pricing information source: carcostcanada.com. Calculations based on Ontario customers. Please note that while the information above is accurate at the time of publication, incentives are given at the discretion of individual dealers, and may be changed or discontinued at any time. Dealer discounts are negotiated with the customer on a case-by-case basis.