Thumbs Down: Watered-Down Rebates

Physician's Money Digest, September15 2003, Volume 10, Issue 17

Automakers are trying to shoreup weak sales by offering buyersbigger rebates, but buyers maynot be saving as much as theythink. The car companies are alsopropping up their profit marginsby raising prices in accordance withthe higher rebates. According toEdmunds.com, an online vehicle-buyingservice, General Motors hashiked prices on most of its vehicles6 times since the start of the 2003model year, while Ford andChrysler have bumped up prices 8times. In most cases, the price hikesaren't equal to the heftier rebates,but on some models, like the high-endDodge Dakota pickup, thebeefed-up prices wipe out anyboost in incentives.