GM sweetens pickup truck deals

The Associated PressDecember 18, 2012 

Pickup Truck Deals

Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks are seen on a dealer's lot in Troy, Mich., Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. General Motors is offering generous deals to clear a growing inventory of Chevy and GMC pickup trucks. Itís matching or beating deals offered by Ford and Chrysler. That, plus low interest rates, sweet lease deals and abundant financing, is good news for truck buyers. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

CARLOS OSORIO — associated press

— General Motors is offering generous deals on Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks after they piled up on dealer lots.

GM is offering the discounts to match or beat discounts from rivals Ford and Chrysler this month.

The three Detroit automakers have been vying for new truck business all year as the market continues a slow rebound from the Great Recession. Experts say buyers now can get discounts of $4,500 or more on some of the best-selling vehicles in the country. Throw in low interest rates, sweet lease deals and abundant financing and it’s a good time for people who are in the market for a truck.

“They’re all very competitive with each other right now,” said Russell Barnett, who owns dealerships around Winchester, Tenn., that sell GM pickups as well as the Ford F-Series and Chrysler’s Ram. “The manufacturers are putting a big emphasis on it, and there are a lot of people in the market.”

GM is offering up to $9,000 off remaining 2012 models pickups and close to $4,500 off 2013s, while the other automakers either have held steady or raised incentives on certain models. Dealers say Chrysler’s average incentive is about $5,000, while Ford’s is less, about $4,000.

That means good deals on Ford’s F-Series pickup, the top-selling vehicle in America, as well as the Silverado, which ranks second. Together, the Detroit Three control 83 percent of the U.S. full-size pickup truck market.

Chrysler led the way on incentives most months this year, sometimes exceeding $5,000, and GM wasn’t far behind. But in November, GM cut discounts on the Silverado and Sierra by about $400, falling almost $1,200 below the Ram and $100 below Ford, according to figures from J.D. Power and Associates. That came just as the pickup truck rebound accelerated, costing GM sales.

Silverado sales fell 10 percent last month, while Ford truck sales rose 18 percent and Ram leaped 23 percent. So Silverados and Sierras began stacking up on dealer lots.

At the end of November, Chevrolet had enough Sierras to supply dealers for 138 days at the current sales rate, according to Ward’s AutoInfoBank. By contrast, Ford had a 90-day supply of F-150s, and Chrysler had 106 days’ worth of Rams. Automakers consider a 60-day supply to be optimal to give buyers enough selection, although that runs a little higher on pickups because there are so many different versions.

GM executives said their strategy in November was to keep incentives down so consumers would buy cars and trucks on their merits. But GM was forced to respond with bigger discounts this month.

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