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GM Giving it Away


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THE SWEETENED DEALS come as sales have slumped in North America and the major automakers have scaled back production plans.

Ford said it was offering interest-free loans on many of its vehicles for up to five years. It also threw in a new twist by launching a $5-a-day lease plan for certain models of its Ranger pickup and Mustang coupe. The plan hearkens back to founder Henry Ford’s decision in 1914 to pay workers $5 a day, double the going rate.

With some exceptions, Ford matched GM’s offers of five-year zero-interest loans or rebates of $3,000. GM’s deals cover nearly all the models it sells, a plan the automaker called its most aggressive incentives ever.

All three Detroit automakers have now boosted their incentives as the U.S. industry was facing the prospect of lower-than-expected sales during its key spring season, thanks to the war in Iraq and a weak economy on the home front.

But March auto sales performed better than expected, with total sales off just 0.4 percent and a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16.2 million.

Chrysler said Tuesday it is offering zero-percent financing for five years on several vehicles, including the popular PT Cruiser.

The German-American automaker on Tuesday also increased cash rebates on certain vehicles to as much as $4,500. The offers are good through April 30.

GM, the world’s No. 1 automaker, said Monday it was offering interest-free financing for up to five years on nearly every vehicle except the Hummer.

GM’s “Zero to Sixty” offer began Tuesday and runs through April. GM also is offering cash rebates of up to $3,000 on most models.


The incentives are “our most compelling and simple offer ever,” said John Smith, group vice president for GM North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing.

It applies to models, such as the Corvette, that have not always qualified for incentives.

Ford Motor Co. was expected to release its latest incentive programs later Tuesday.

North American auto sales have slipped 3 to 5 percent since the United States attacked Iraq and could fall as much as 10 percent over year-ago levels, industry analysts said last week.


GM said before the war that it would cut second-quarter production by 10.5 percent. Other automakers followed with their own cuts.

Smith said weakening consumer confidence was a factor in the company’s new offer.

“We believe it’s the right time to lead the industry with this exceptional offer, which will jump start the spring selling season and give consumers more confidence to purchase a GM vehicle right now,” he said.

Lynn Thompson, co-chair of GM’s national dealer council, said the offer should be popular with dealers.

“I think it’s a great package and it comes at a real good time for us all around the country,” Thompson said.


Strait from the horses mouth! :chevy: It would be nice to have both 0% and 3K though :thumbs:

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