Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 18, 2012

GM sweetens deals on pickups

Discounts offered to reduce inventory


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

GM is matching or beating discounts from rivals Ford and Chrysler this month. It miscalculated in November when it reduced incentives and truck buyers went looking elsewhere for sweeter deals.

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 can now 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., southeast of Nashville, 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 have either held steady or raised incentives on certain models. Dealers say Chrysler's average incentive is around $5,000, while Ford's is less, around $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.

Silverado sales fell 10 percent last month, while Ford truck sales rose 18 percent and Ram leaped 23 percent.