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SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Though some rival automakers offered special incentives in January to try and lure away "unsettled" Toyota owners and shoppers, these deals only made a "small dent," as overall incentive spending was down 12 percent from a year ago.

Specifically, automakers spent an average of $2,382 per vehicle sold on incentives, compared with $2,708 in January 2009 and marking a 6.3-percent decline from December.

"January incentives were not particularly generous or compelling — until some automakers began trying to conquest unsettled Toyota owners and shoppers late in the month," shared Jessica Caldwell, Director of Industry Analysis for Edmunds.com.

"January sales numbers are up from last year only because of fleet sales," she added.

The Big 3 had average incentive spending of $3,108 per vehicle sold, a decrease of $291 from December. European OEMs spent $2,611 per vehicle sold on average, compared with $2,974 the previous month.

Japanese automakers remained relatively static, with incentives at $1,563 per vehicle sold (decrease of $1).

Korean brands spent an average of $2,096, an upswing of $69.

Aggregate incentive spending for the industry during January was down 35.9 percent to $1.67 billion, with the Big 3 making up $1 billion of that total for a 60.2-percent share.

Incentive spending for Japanese OEMs totaled $424 million, which represented 25.1 percent of the market.

European automakers totaled $149 million in incentive spending (8.9 percent) and Korean automakers composed 5.8 percent of the total at $96 million.

"February could prove interesting. We'll see the usual President's Day sales and, in addition, we could see some deals from Toyota as it tries to lure weary shoppers back to its showrooms after its recalls and sales stoppage," Edmunds.com senior analyst Michelle Krebs suggested in her AutoObserver.com report. 

"And Toyota competitors won't stand still for that," she added. "As they demonstrated in January, they'll do what they can to capitalize on Toyota's weakened state."

Breaking it down by segment, showing the heaviest average incentives were large trucks at $3,743 per vehicle sold. Large SUVs were next in line at $3,724 per vehicle sold.

Conversely, automakers spent the least on subcompact cars ($1,116 per vehicle sold), with sports cars next ($1,250).

As a percentage of sticker price, large trucks, again, had the highest incentive spending (11 percent). Large cars were second from the top (9.6 percent).

On the opposite end of the spectrum, premium sports cars had the lowest average incentive spending (3.2 percent). Premium luxury cars were not far behind (3.7 percent).

By brand, Hummer had the highest average incentives spending ($5,733 per vehicle sold) with Lincoln in second ($5,484). Mini had the lowest incentives per vehicle sold ($226) with Scion No. 2 ($320).

Based on percentage of price, Saturn had the heaviest incentives (18.4 percent) followed by Hummer (15.2 percent). Conversely, Mini was at 1 percent and Scion followed at 1.9 percent.