When dealers chase incentives and sell at a loss, used-car prices take a dive soon afterward.
Certain incentives from automakers, called stair-step incentives, are coming back in a big way. For consumers, that means good deals are available, or will be soon, on many new and used cars. For dealers, it can mean significantly less money if the gamble to offer discounts doesn’t generate enough sales.
Stair-step incentives artificially depress the price of some vehicles while targeting certain other models for which the automaker hopes to boost sales. Do they work? That depends, of course, on who you ask.