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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 24, 2012 10:13PM
Most trucks are priced too high... Americans don't want to pay so much and look foolish. Ran 1500 looks the best of em all. No real gas millage treakthroughs for any of the pickups. Same old stuff from GM... AND THE MOST OVER PRICED. I'll just keep my truck a few miles more for right now.
Dec 24, 2012 1:15PM

We know that two GM vehicles are redesigned for the model year 2014 / the Corvette and the Silverado..  Every dealer I know of has plenty of 2013 models for both and plenty of 2012 models besides.  They will probably be able to sell the Vettes, since there is more of a margin to work with (for discounts), but with the  2014's being just around the corner, they will have trouble selling off the 2013 pick-ups - for sure.


GM needs to cut the pricing on it's trucks and show us what the 2014 will be like / inside and out.

Who knows, it may be that some people (after comparison) would rather stick with the 22013 /  especially if the 2014s are going up even more in price.


Another thing that all of the companies should try - is going  back to the old way of buying a vehicle!!!   When you got to 'haggle' with the salesman / even though you never got the 'Best Deal' they could make . . . you came away feeling like you had beaten them down a little (even though you knew you hadn't) - you had a better feeling than with the new 'the price you see, is the price you pay' approach.


Accept for a few cosmetic changes, there is not much of a difference between my 2009 Silverado and a 2013.  The same is true between my old 2007 Vette and a 2013.


And for the record, I have never had a mechanical problem with a GM product - and, except for a 2004 Ram, Chevrolets are the only vehicle I've had.  My 1998 Vette had over 140,000 miles on it - and never a problem.

Dec 23, 2012 3:57PM

not uncommon for gm 5.3l to use a quart of oil in 800 miles..friend of mine had dealer

tear his down,and they replaced the pistons and rings, he had the same  1 quart every

800 miles, problem is in the heads, there was a large run of gouged valve stems that got

put into many 5.3's in 08 09 and did not recall them. 

Dec 23, 2012 1:32PM
I have a 2010 RAM with 49872 miles on it and have not had any problem yet. trouble free ride love it  I  Had all of the others never again. unless  they get back to the same old thing that the others did ripping us off with junk for parts. I have replaced starters, alternators, Radiators, heater cores, calipers, water pumps,  AC units every year on all of the other pick up trucks everyone that has owned one of the buy American made will repeat the same story. SO FAR NOT WITH MY RAM.  I LOVE MY RAM. Oh I forgot the rust also.
Dec 23, 2012 11:58AM
I wonder why.....the glut......jejejejejeje
Dec 23, 2012 9:11AM
Even with 5 grand discounts I will keep my paid -off 06 F-150 with 36,000 miles  and still going strong with no problems to  report, and if I did get another truck which I will in a few more years it's gonna be another F-150 not a Chevy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Chevy needs to get their sh@#$ together if they ever want to be competitive in the truck market. the ****es haven't changed the body style since 07, talk about out dated crap, and they wonder why they have a surplus of trucks left in inventory. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah.
Dec 23, 2012 6:37AM

There's a reason it's called Garbage Motors, and no bailout will ever fix that. I can say that after owning one too many failed GM products (Sunbird, Camaro, Aveo, 1500 W/T, and an Impala)


"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." Well, I have a fix, don't give the employees an average $7000 bonus and instead return that "excess" to the taxpayers whom bailed your miserable a$$es out. If you total both the incentives and the bonuses to union "workers" that's $14,000.00


Hey GM, I've got a Public Relations plan, just cut me a $14,000.00 check and I will tell everyone how happy I am with my 1990 Chevy 1500 W/T, you know, the one that peels paint when the wind blows and sends paint chips flying everywhere when I drive it...just saying.

Dec 23, 2012 3:42AM
I just purchased a nice little homestead up in the Rocky Mountains for 36k, dog gone it, if I would have just saved up another 15k I could have bought a new Chevy truck and lived in it.
Dec 23, 2012 2:40AM
2005 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew-Cab SLE, 5.3 engine, 137,000 miles and running as sweet as the first day I bought it. I average 15 mpg city and 20 mpg on the highway. I also own my grandfathers old 1953 GMC 1/2 ton and my fathers old 1979 GMC 2500 pickup. All of my trucks are in excellent running condition with their original engines. I will never own another brand of truck other than a GM truck! If I didn't own so many drivable trucks, I would be out grabbing a deal on the 2012 GMC's right now!
Dec 17, 2012 11:22PM
Ford's huge incentives are offered only on 2012 models.  GM has been overbuilding to prop up its revenue numbers all year and is in for a rude awakening when it must cease production AND pay nearly $1B in incentives to move the CURRENT YEAR stock it has.

But worst of all is that ALL makers must compete with GM's incentives rather than product strength alone.  Like in Europe, where Opel's continued existence is costing the entire sector billions each quarter, GM is only churning what should be the segment's most profitable transactions at everybody's expense.
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