The COVID-19 pandemic has sent shockwaves throughout the automotive industry. Ford (NYSE:F) and General Motors (NYSE:GM), among other major manufacturers, stopped vehicle production, wholesalers stopped auctions, supply of off-lease vehicles surged causing used-car residual values to plunge, and it's all caused unforeseen results. However, that could mean this is a phenomenal vehicle buying opportunity if you're in the right position.
"We're seeing far more generous incentives and deals out there than we typically would for Memorial Day weekend, and since more consumers might be looking at vehicles for summer road trips instead of airline travel, things might look up a bit for the industry," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of insights, in a press release.
Edmunds' data shows more vehicles on dealership lots in May were 2019 model years, which means consumers may have more clearance vehicles to choose from. This is also the first big shopping holiday since COVID-19 swept the nation with travel and social distancing restrictions, meaning more manufacturers are willing to up incentives to bring in a more cautious consumer. This is especially true after abysmal April sales levels.
Some of the best deals on new vehicles, per Edmunds' data, will be on trucks and SUVs: Full-size trucks are seeing an average discount of 17% and midsize SUVs are at a 14.4% discount. If you're financially secure, can do your research with minimal interaction, and perhaps even have the vehicle delivered, this weekend could be a phenomenal time to save a buck on a new vehicle.