• Image Credit: General Motors

Chevrolet HHR

Vincentric Market Price: $12,140
Discount from MSRP: 35%

Why? Out of fashion; discounted too much for too long

The retro-styled Chevrolet HHR, just like the Chrysler PT Cruiser it mimics in some respects, is a product whose time has come and gone. The HHR has been heavily discounted for several years now and has lackluster resale value; it gets just one star in ALG's Depreciation Ratings, meaning its value is going to drop like a rock as soon as you drive off the dealership lot.

HHR sales are actually up this year, though with a higher percent -- now 69 percent of all HHRs -- going to fleets.

Chevrolet Aveo LS

Vincentric Market Price: $8,317
Discount from MSRP: 30%

Why? Often a $10k car with a $12k pricetag

This common sight in rental fleets is discounted more than $2,500 off its MSRP, making it, currently, the least expensive car being sold in the U.S., based on Vincentric's market prices. In addition to its chronically low market prices, the Aveo carries an ALG Depreciation Rating of just one star, confirming that it's going to plunge in value on the used market.

By contrast, a base Nissan Versa 1.6 sedan stickers at just $9,990, but it certainly isn't overpriced. The market has decided it's worth every bit of it, as the base Versa is typically discounted just $150 or so. Critics contend that the Aveo has never been competitive with the Versa or other popular rivals like or the Honda Fit. However that might change with the introduction next year of an all-new, more sophisticated Aveo model.
  • Image Credit: Nissan

Nissan Titan PRO-4X

Vincentric Market Price: $26,946
Discount from MSRP: 21%

Why? Huge incentives and discounts needed to move them

With the Titan, Nissan targeted leisure and recreation-oriented truck-users -- like the off-road enthusiasts that would be the ideal market for the PRO-4X model. However, during the recession, the leisure truck segment has been hit hard. Competition among full-size trucks is hot and against a roster of other full-size models recently refreshed or redesigned, the Nissan Titan feels a bit dated.

Even to sell a fraction of the Titans it was moving a few years ago, Nissan has been offering a $5,000 incentive -- and you're likely to get closer to $6,000 knocked off the price. This is not a recent development, as the automaker has applied generous incentives all year. Residual values experts ALG don't show much confidence in the Titan's value, as they give it just one star in their Depreciation Ratings.

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 W/T

Vincentric Market Price: $16,775
Discount from MSRP: 20%

Why? Has been relying on incentives for years

The full-size pickup market has remained sluggish, and while a few higher-end models are doing better recently, these simple, work-oriented trucks are sitting on lots. These are the inexpensive, Spartan models without any of the "luxury" features like leather interiors and navigation systems that have invaded the pickup market over the past decade.

As the construction industry continues to suffer, there's neither a need nor the money available for most builders and contractors to upgrade their fleets. So does GM lower prices, drop the W/T models, or just wait for sales to come back around?
  • Image Credit: Jeep

Jeep Compass

Vincentric Market Price: $15,022
Discount from MSRP: 20%

Why? Lack of appeal; heavy incentives needed to move them

Of Jeep's two closely related compact models, the Patriot and Compass, this is the one that has never been as well received. It probably has a lot to do with the Patriot's classic, boxy Jeep look -- while the Compass isn't really identifiable as a Jeep unless you look at the badge.

Despite its design shortcomings and slow sales, the Compass is priced roughly the same as the Patriot, even slightly higher in some trims. Maybe it's time for Chrysler to consider offering the Compass with a more competitive MSRP rather than such a huge discount.

Honda Insight

Vincentric Market Price: $22,062
Discount from MSRP: 4%

Why? Finicky shoppers; aggressively priced rival

Honda miscalculated with the new-for-2010 Insight hybrid. The Insight has a slightly sportier feel than the Toyota Prius, but hybrid shoppers are turned off by the Insight's lower EPA ratings: 40/43 mpg, versus 51/48 for the Prius. Toyota's competitive pricing on the redesigned 2010 Prius, as well as a $750 factory incentive, have made its iconic hybrid a tough competitor.

As a result, inventories have grown, and the Insight hasn't sold nearly as well as expected. Honda has been averse to incentives in the past, to preserve resale values, so you probably won't see a big sale. Instead, look for changes this year or next, possibly a revised pricing strategy that includes more standard equipment, or a lower-priced base model.

GMC Sierra 1500 W/T

Vincentric Market Price: $16,820
Discount from MSRP: 19%

Why? Too many incentives for too long

The GMC twin to the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 has the same problem: Work truck sales have all but disappeared and so these trucks are piling up on dealer lots. (Automotive News has shown over a 100-day supply for several recent months.)
  • Image Credit: Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Galant ES

Vincentric Market Price: $17,825
Discount from MSRP: 17%

Why? Rivals all are newer, fresher

Mitsubishi has the Galant priced close to the Hyundai Sonata, Honda Accord, and Toyota Camry, all of which are better cars. In fact, this aging model is no longer even a direct rival, as the midsize sedan class has grown over the past few years. Mitsubishi gave the Galant a mild refresh in 2009, but it's been six years since the car was completely redesigned.

With a lower price the Galant could be a budget alternative, but as it stands, with a sustained $3,500 factory incentive and total discounts of around $4,000, resale values are not good.

Honda Ridgeline RTL

Vincentric Market Price: $32,859
Discount from MSRP: 11%

Why? Slow sales; pricier than full-size pickups

The Ridgeline hasn't been a strong seller, and an 11-percent discount from MSRP is huge and noteworthy for Honda, a company that has always been reticent to resort to such strategies. The Ridgeline's problem is that it's an answer to a question that almost nobody is asking anymore: Can I get an "almost" pickup that's smaller and more SUV-like than traditional American trucks?

But with prices that can stretch toward $40k for a very well equipped version, the overpriced Ridgeline costs more than many full-size trucks with comparable features.
  • Image Credit: Acura

Acura ZDX w/Advance Package

Vincentric Market Price: $54,474
Discount from MSRP: 3%

Why? Too pricey for stylistas; Acura won't budge with incentives

Acura sold just 265 of these new-for-2010 vehicles in the entire U.S. in June. An odd mix of swoopy coupe and SUV, the ZDX is clearly failing to generate much interest in showrooms. According to the pundits, Honda simply missed the mark on pricing, especially for the loaded "Advance Package" model, which is priced near $57,000.

Even in this economy, Honda and Acura won't ramp up the incentives, yet some of the younger, stylish shoppers the brand was hoping for simply can't afford it.
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