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May Car Sales: Hyundai Moves to Third Place, Incentive Spending Down

Redesigned models like the 2011 Hyundai Sonata should help May sales.

We’re still a week away from when automakers will report their May 2011 sales, but our friends at TrueCar.com have released some interesting early sales estimates. They project that the third largest market share will go to Hyundai/Kia, beating Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Chrysler. Hyundai and Kia managed to get the number three spot even though TrueCar reports that they spent less on incentives than all of those brands except Toyota, showing that consumers are drawn to Hyundai and Kia’s largely redesigned lineups, while older models are left sitting on the lots of Honda and Toyota dealers.

While that’s good news for Hyundai, the news isn’t so good for car shoppers overall. Incentive spending is down throughout the industry, with companies spending 13.1 percent less on discounts and deals than they did in April 2011. The real kicker? Incentive spending in May 2011 dropped by 28.9 percent compared to May 2010. To put it bluntly, great new car deals aren’t out there. And while TrueCar says that the supply problems and price hikes that resulted from the earthquake are being resolved faster than expected, if you’re looking to get a good deal on a new car, now isn’t the time to buy. Wait a few months and prices should be lower.

Check out more estimated May sales data from TrueCar.com.

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