Motivating a team without a reward is a hard and tedious task. Team members do the bare minimum and do not tend to help around if they know that there are no additional benefits to them. 

Sales incentive programs are of great benefit to companies when used correctly. These incentives will motivate the sales team to be more productive and motivated to sell more products. There are multiple programs that can be use that will boost sales, clear old stock, and motivate staff to attract new customers in the automotive industry. All of this can be achieved through sales incentive programs. 

These sales incentives can be used by companies on staff members and customers. Customers can be driven to purchase stock due to incentives such as specials or discounts, while employees are persuaded to sell specific products that are accompanied by a small cash bonus. 

A Look at Automotive Industry’s Company

Automotive industry can use incentive programs to set in place to encourage new car sales or other specific products and parts. These incentives can be directed to either a company or an employee and client. 

The company-focused incentive is to act in a way where the manufacturer provides specific products at a low cost to ensure the sales numbers can be increased. This product or car can be brand new from the manufacturers or can be the old stock that has been standing for a lengthy time in a warehouse. 

Sales incentives programs place the primary focus on rewarding sales members or teams that meet specific goals that have been set by the company. These plans are used to motivate staff to increase the sales numbers of new or older cars. 

Client incentive programs can be granted to customers that reflect behavior that builds the business. These incentive plans can be to provide discounts on specific cars or products, or cash backs and low financing rates. Companies can use this incentive to show appreciation to customers. 

Importance of such Programs in the Automotive Industry

Motivating customers and employees without any incentives can lead to low success rates and sales. This will not only affect the financial aspect of the business but can lead to stock aging in a warehouse. 

Automotive industry can use incentives to ensure that new stock and cars are out of the company through a sale as quickly as possible. The key to these incentives is to have clear goals and guidelines to ensure the customer and employee understand the benefits that come with every sale. 

These incentive plans can play a crucial part in the automotive business due to the stock control sales teams and management will have, as well as providing a service that customers will return for. 

Incentive programs can include loyalty programs for both the manufacturers for providing the best cars and stock and the customer to arrange only the best in the industry at a good price which can come with other benefits. 

Types of Automotive Sales Incentive Programs

There are a variety of incentives that business owners can use to motivate and achieve specific objectives within their marketing strategy. The company must clarify the goal of the incentive by which they then can choose the best-suited program that adds the most value to them and the customers. This will force the employees to build product knowledge that will assist them to pull through promotions for customers. 


Rebate services is a program that repays an amount to the customer when the purchase value is above a certain dollar value. This will allow the business to sell more stock at a better price.

Different rebates achieve certain goals. Volume rebates can be used to secure a bigger deal on equipment or stock. A customer can earn money back when they purchase a certain amount of a specific product. 

A mixed-product incentive rebate can be used to connect high-demand products with slow-moving products. Customers can buy a bundle with an opportunity to receive a financial benefit. This will allow the company to get rid of older stock at a profit rate. 

Promotions are one of the better-known rebates that companies use. Selling a combination of the same stock for a lower price ensures that the company can get rid of it. This will allow the business to gather some cash flow money to buy new stock. 

Cashback Incentives

A cashback incentive works as a simple yet effective way of selling more products while adding benefits to the customers. This incentive allows the customer to receive a definite amount of money back for every dollar they spend. 

This incentive is a great way to build a loyal customer bond. They will return to ensure that they can build up the cash they can receive. Companies can use this to convince customers that they are the better brand and that they want to add more benefits to the customer experience. 

Low or 0% APR Financing

An interest-free car deal means that customers can purchase a car without an interest being added throughout the purchase of the new car. This seems too good to be true, yet companies use these incentives to draw new customers and sell more automobiles. 

These 0% APR financing can be set to only a limited selection of cars, and even though the business does not make any money from the interest they seal the deal on many cars because of the attraction of interest-free buying. 

This incentive program allows the company to broaden its target market and sell to individuals that are interested in buying a vehicle without having the financial backing. The customer can use the interest-free deal and only pay for the vehicle.

Lease Specials

Car lease incentives is a program used by business to make buying a car more approachable and affordable for their clients. These plans come with lower interest rates, and a cash rebuke to reward the client for leasing a car and receiving a better vehicle for a lower price. 

Employee Discounts

Employee discounts can be used to reflect an appreciation for the employees of the company. This employee benefit allows the staff members to purchase or lease a car at a discounted rate. 

These rates differ between companies and the aim is not to gain financially for the business. The employees are rewarded with discounts, which will lead to motivated and passionate sales individuals that believe in the products they sell. 

Dealer Incentives

A dealer incentive is primarily given to the dealership for taking stock of motorcars from the manufacturer at a lower or special price. These programs allow the dealer to obtain vehicles for a lower price, which can save the business on the stock. 

The dealer incentive is a starting point for multiple incentives. Due to the money saved at this incentive, companies can inject other incentives such as low-interest rates or lease specials to ensure sales throughout the year. 

These incentives can only occur when the dealer achieves sales goals and can be accompanied by rebates and discount incentives for the dealership itself. 

Manufacturer-to-dealer Incentives

A manufacturer-to-dealer incentive places focus on allowing the dealer to sell cars to their customers at a better price. This program aims to sell cars that are not as popular and well-known as other vehicles. 

The manufacturer takes part in these incentives to get rid of older stock, while still making some financial gains from them. This will allow both parties to gain sales through unwanted stock. 

Manufacturer-to-customer Incentives

The manufacturer-to-customer incentives are used to ensure customer loyalty. This program also ensures that the manufacturer generates sales throughout the year. Manufacturers allow rebates and discounts straight to consumers based on the vehicle they purchase. 

Rebates can be a discounted price on a purchase in the future or service and assistance on the current purchase set for some time. These incentives provide manufacturers with direct access to their customers which ensures that they can provide correct and valuable information.

Check Out Why Its Illegal to Buy a Car from a Manufacturer:

Advantages and Disadvantages of Automotive Sales Incentive Programs

There are both positive and negative aspects to applying incentives to an automotive dealership. These can affect how costumes perceive the business, cut on the financial aspect, and other perks and disadvantages to these programs. 


Boost Sales and Revenue

An incentive plan will allow the automotive business to improve the sales numbers and revenue coming into the business. By selling more products and cars, companies have access to more revenue. These sales will also show the manufacturer that the products are moving out of the dealership. 

Attract New Customers

Customers will talk to their family and friends. This communication among people will allow the word of mouth to work in the business’s favor. The company will attract new customers through the implementation of its incentives, due to customers want the best deal they can find. 

Clear Out Old Inventory

An incentive allows the company to remove old stock from the floor. This will allow the business to produce revenue from old stock, and create space for new stock that will attract customers to the business. 

 Maintain Market Share

Companies can use incentive programs to ensure customer loyalty, brand awareness, and pricing of products efficiently. These incentives will lead a company to maintain market share which will lead to them being a competitor in the industry. 


Decrease Profit Margins

With an active incentive plan companies will have a decreasing profit margin. The vehicles are now being sold at a lower price to draw the eyes of potential customers. The business will be able to pay the bills, but with incentives, they cut the profit margin. Selling the old stock is more important than massive profit margins.

Damage Brand Image

Once a company is known for its incentives the brand image can take a blow. The business will be known for deals and incentives and not for the products, services, or customer care. This will lead to customers only returning based on deals they want, and not due to products or the amazing vehicle range they provide.

Create Price Confusion

A continuous range of incentives run at the same time across multiple options can lead to customers’ confusion on prices. The incentives will lead customers to place the incentives prices as a norm for all the products in the business. This will force businesses to sell all the products at a lower cost, because customers only want the cheaper deals, and are not used to the higher prices on some products. 

It can be Difficult to Manage

Sales teams and management are the employees on the floor with the customers. By having multiple incentives and discounts, the employees can get confused and miss manage certain incentives. This will lead to products being sold with the wrong incentive which will cost the business profit. 

How to Determine the Effectiveness of Automotive Sales Incentive Programs?

Setting up incentive plans and insuring that the staff members know why and how they work is one aspect of these programs. Automotive businesses must ensure that they use the data to calculate the effectiveness of the program performance. 

Measure Return on Investment (ROI)

Calculating the success of these incentives starts by assessing the return on investments. Is the program at hand generating an additional lump sum of sales or revenue for the company? 

If the active incentive can attract more customers, or recurring customers as well as additional sales numbers to the business, it can be seen as an effective program. The business must use the numbers to ensure the success of these programs. 

Monitor Sales Trends

An effective approach to setting incentive programs in the automotive industry is by observing the sales trends. The business can observe trends of what customers find attractive. This will allow them to beat the competition on prices and offers which will lead to an increase in customers.

Evaluate Customer Feedback

Ask for the customer’s feedback. The main focus of a business is to supply the customers with a product or service that will enrich their lives, or solve a problem they have. Companies can ask for feedback from customers. 

This will provide them with first-hand experience of the success or lack of the business, which can lead the management team to discover areas where they can improve.

Examples of Successful Automotive Sales Incentive Programs

Ford’s “Built for the Holidays” Campaign

The incentive program run by Ford provides the company with an idea of what programs can provoke customers over the holiday season. Ford used an incentive program over the Christmas holidays to ensure that customers buy their products over the holiday season. 

Chevrolet’s “Truck Month” Campaign

Chevrolet’s incentive program focuses on advertising a product that is not that attractive to customers, but through this plan, these customers will find ways to purchase the products on sale or discount. Chevrolet is moving old stock with new prices. 

Hyundai’s “Hope on Wheels” Campaign

Hyundai used an incentive plan to draw customers with emotions. Their incentive brought brand awareness and products to the people. This incentive does not sell customers a product but ensures that they feel the passion Hyundai has for kids. 


Why Do Car Manufacturers Offer Deal Incentives?

These incentive plans are used to attract new and loyal customers. The program also ensures the removal of old stock and products by still obtaining revenue. 

What Is An Example Of An Incentive on a Car?

Discounts or lease specials are great examples of car incentives. Another example is the low-interest rates provided by vehicle companies to ensure the best deals for the customers. 

What is a Good Sales Incentive Program?

A good incentive program has a set objective or goal, that can be measured through an effective system. A good sales incentive considers the customer, while still adding profit and value to the automotive business.

Final Thoughts

Automotive incentive programs are an effective way to gain new customers, build a strong brand, and ensure the competitiveness of the company within the industry. These incentive plans can ensure that the business makes a profit from old stock, and create space for new products or vehicles. 

Businesses can benefit in more than one way if they calculate the effectiveness of these incentives. Sales can increase and the dealerships can build a strong relationships with the manufacturers and customers. 

Sabine Ghali

Kelly Murphy


Certified Meeting planner with 20+ years of event management experience, founder of ConferenceSource, expert in meeting facility sourcing & contracting in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. Kelly will manage your budget as if they were her own, negotiating the best possible rate and hotel contract to benefit and protect every client and exceed all expectations for all planning aspects for sales meetings, educational meetings, product launches, incentive trips down to a small board of directors meeting. We make meetings easy understanding your meeting objectives and delivering meeting matched components.