March weather is known for coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb, but new car sales for March didn't quite follow that pattern. While sales remained strong for the entire month, demand for small, fuel-efficient cars meant car makers didn't need to offer impressive incentives to attract shoppers. As a result, overall incentives were down and analysts expect the trend to continue. If you're looking for a great deal on a new car, April may not be your month.
Complicating your chances of getting a good deal is the ongoing crisis in Japan. Because of the complex global supply chain most automakers use, the Japan catastrophe has had a ripple effect throughout the industry. Even domestic car makers have cut back on production as they try to conserve important parts. For consumers, this means that the supply of new cars could run short, making it tough to find the model and options you want, especially if you're shopping small cars. Adding to the squeeze on small cars is high demand as consumers go for more fuel-efficient models in the face of rising gas prices. High demand and limited supply for small cars means that automakers don't have to offer incentives.