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Looking To Buy? Now is THE Time!

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AP

You've heard it before, and will hear it over and over in the weeks to come.

This may be the best time to get the deal you want on a new car or truck. In fact, if you can stomach the idea of taking on an auto loan in this economy, dealers will bend over backwards to get you in the new ride you want.

According to Edmunds.com the estimated true cost of incentive was. $2,914 per vehicle sold last month. A staggering number when you consider that the average "deal" being thrown out there is now greater than 20 percent the average sticker price of a new vehicle. Edmunds.com estimates the average incentive jumped $216 last month.

Why are the deals getting richer?

There is a confluence of factors hitting dealers. First, in this economy they have to sweeten the pot or people won't come in. Second, many buyers are rotating to used vehicles (so much so, used prices are moving higher) and the dealers need more "cash on the hood" to convince buyers to go new. Third, incredibly slow sales the last three months have left many dealers with swollen inventories. They need to move the metal.

I know that many dealers and executives, including Mike Jackson with AutoNation, believe tight credit is the main factor keeping many people from buying. While tighter credit is a factor still, I maintain that the terrible jobs market and overall economy are the biggest reason people are spooked out of shopping for a new car.

Spring is historically when the auto sales season kicks into gear. March has entered like a lamb. It better wake up soon and end with a roar or dealers will find themselves looking at even more new models on their lots come April.

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