More incentives on new car purchases: Consumers win, car companies don't

A new 2010 Chrysler with $4,000 cash back? Large incentive programs for new cars are usually set up to help dealers dump inventory they cannot sell or clear lots of last year's models as current model year cars and light truck come in.

Incentives like this have been one of the primary reasons that Detroit has had trouble making money. Overseas manufacturers like Honda (HMC) and Toyota (TM) are already seeing their profits hurt by a weak dollar, and if they have to match incentives from the U.S. car companies, they could lose even more money on many of their models.