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GM's glut of pickups leads to extra-large incentives

Year-end deals from GM, Chrysler, Ford and even Nissan mean it’s a great time to buy a truck.

By Douglas Newcomb Dec 11, 2012 12:34PM

With dealers rushing to meet sales quotas and automakers vying for “best-selling” bragging rights, December is always a good time to buy a new vehicle. This time, however, is a particularly great time to buy a pickup truck, especially from General Motors.

GM, caught with a glut of full-sized trucks -- 243,691 of them by November's end, or nearly double what it usually has -- is offering aggressive incentive packages on Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra models. According to a Bloomberg report, incentives could rise to as much as $5,000 per pickup in December, compared with less than $4,000 on Silverados last month. With an all-new Silverado launching next summer, GM is especially under the gun to whittle down inventories.

Automotive News points out that such bloated inventories recall GM’s pre-bailout days and that the automaker’s market share is at its lowest in 90 years, which is “threatening profits or spooking investors.” But GM says that its discounts are in line with those from Chrysler and Ford.

Regardless, if you’re in the market for a pickup, now is a good time to make a deal.

According to Bloomberg, GM’s truck incentives are still well below the $8,200 incentive packages Chrysler is advertising on its website for Ram pickups, and also below the $7,000 in incentives Ford is offering on its popular F-150 pickups. Nissan is also advertising incentives on its Titan pickup that can total almost $7,500.

To make GM pickups competitive with some of these offers, Peter Nesvold, an industry analyst with Jefferies & Co, told Bloomberg that Chevrolet dealers can cobble together discounts as large as $7,000 on some high-end trucks.

These incentives from the Big Three domestic automakers are still well below historic highs. Bloomberg points out that incentives on GM pickups are similar to those in December 2011, which on the Silverado were estimated at $4,500.

GM says it doesn’t want to return to its pre-bankruptcy bad habits. At the beginning of 2013, the automaker said it plans to cut production, if necessary, before going further with such incentives.

[Source: Bloomberg, Automotive News]

Dec 13, 2012 6:04AM
When the new vehicle prices for an average pickup has gone well above 40K the discounts and incentives of only 4 -7 K to purchase a left-over one year old, but still new - pickup doesn't really sound very appealing, given the fact that the new one year old truck has already lost more than that in depreciated value.
Dec 15, 2012 12:07AM

I had a new 2009 Silverado extended cab/mid level trim work truck that broke down with about 23,000 miles due to a defective cam shaft. It took over  three weeks to get the cam shaft replaced.


When I was finally able to get the service manager to explain the reason for the repair delay,

his response was that the cam shaft was on back order due to the thousands of defective cam shafts that needed to be replaced.   


When I ask him why there wasn't a current recall for the defective cam shaft, he avoided my question and quickly changed the subject.

Dec 15, 2012 6:31AM

Get you heads out of the sand. The whole thing is shameful, $40,000 + for a personal transportation truck ?

 How about buying real estate, or a house, or a post secondaary degree or trade skill - any of which will appreciate and bring back a return on your investment.

This industry is stuck in the past, like a dinosaur in a tar pit. Maybe a tar-baby would be a more appropriate analogy........touch it and your stuck with it and can't get rid of it.

Buy used if you have to buy at all.

Dec 15, 2012 7:47AM
Dec 12, 2012 8:33AM
 " GM caught with a glut of trucks"  After owning a $45,000 GM truck that bled fluids like it was wounded and seeing their level of quality with dozens of them in my fleet. I wouldn't be caught dead with one of them in my driveway, not even at a $10,000 discount per vehicle.
  $15k off might be worth the frustration, time and money lost returning to the dealership twice a year for repairs though.

Dec 15, 2012 2:19AM
i'm 91and have a colarodo with only28000 miles and have spent $4000 for repairs. i will never buy a chevy again.
Dec 13, 2012 4:28PM

Quick GM.....while you're trying to shed your overproduced trucks, unveil the new model year of the same truck early!  That will surely help sales of the current, outdated model.


GM Marketing Department - Fail



Dec 12, 2012 2:32PM
Please folks, we have not seen the last of high gas prices.  Anyone who thinks gas can go back to under $2.00 a gallon I have a great deal on a big red bridge.  India is going to be coming online this next decade as a major oil consumer.   Buy smart.
Dec 12, 2012 5:05PM

Many competitors have updated their trucks while GM doesn't have a major redesign of the barely updated since 2006 Silverado until the 2014 model.  Why buy an inferior product when something better is out there?


Not to forget that GM has also been exercising production slow downs for other vehicles like the Cruze, to artificially inflate resale values to closer match their competitors.  



Dec 12, 2012 11:36AM
I can't help but wonder if the high gas prices has caused their target customer base to shrink.  Maybe fewer people are buying trucks for personal transportation.  Hopefully GM will learn not to overproduce from this experience.  It cannot be good for them financially to be so heavily discounting these trucks.
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