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Good deals can be found on new cars just before model is updated

May 17, 2012|By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
  • Ford is clearing out its Fusion family sedan because an updated model arrives in showrooms this summer.
Ford is clearing out its Fusion family sedan because an updated model arrives… (Stan Honda, AFP / Getty Images )

If you want to save money on a new car, look for an older model that is about to be replaced.

That's the advice of auto information company Kelley Blue Book, which says some automakers are offering big discounts on models that they are replacing in the coming months with redesigned versions of the same nameplate.

Nissan Motor Co., for example, this month began production of its new-generation Altima family sedan at its factory near Nashville and is clearing out its 2012 models. The automaker is offering a $2,500 rebate on the outgoing Altima, which lists for $23,490, according to Kelley Blue Book.

Nissan is expected to offer similar discounts on its Sentra compact sedan, which also is about to be replaced.

Ford Motor Co. is clearing out its Fusion family sedan because the new-generation model — also a completely redesigned version — hits showrooms this summer. Chevrolet has deals on its Malibu, which also gets updated this year.

"Not all consumers are alike, and many new-car shoppers are simply looking for the best deal available," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book. "Vehicles typically are redesigned on a five-year cycle. Being aware of which models will soon be redesigned is a good way to get a new car and still keep some of your money in the bank."

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