GM Steps Up Pickup Truck Discounts After Weak January

By Dow Jones Business News, 
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By Jeff Bennett

DETROIT-- General Motors Co. is dialing up the discounts on its new Chevrolet Silverado and GM Sierra pickup trucks, offering as much as $7,000 off the list price after sales slumped in January.

The Presidents Day sale, which started Tuesday and runs through Feb. 28, allows all pickup truck shoppers to buy at dealer invoice price plus the traditional destination charge and a $150 program fee. GM is also offering as much as a $ 7,000 discount on a Chevrolet double-cab, six-cylinder All Star edition and the GMC 2014 Sierra 1500 double-cab.

GM spokesman Jim Cain said the pickup incentive was in-step with the auto maker's annual Presidents Day sale offerings and the larger discount on the V-6 was a move designed to "raise consumer awareness."

The incentives come after Silverado's year-over-year January sales dropped 18.4% to 28,926 vehicles while GMC Sierra's sales fell 13.5% to 11,118. Rival Ford Motor Co., however, said sales of its F-150 remained relatively flat at 46,536 vehicles.

Meanwhile, GM is also offering a variety of other discounts such as up to $1,750 in customer cash and $500 in Presidents Day bonus money on some of its Chevrolet and GMC cars.

For example, buyers of the 2014 Malibu can get as much as $2,250 in a cash allowance, while 2014 Equinox consumers get $1,500.

Investors are watching the Detroit auto makers closely for signs of an escalating price war. GM's operating profit in North America jumped to $1.89 billion from $1.14 billion in the fourth quarter, in part because the auto maker was able to hold discounts in check.

Automotive News first reported the incentives Friday.

GM needs to defend higher prices to reach its mid-decade goal of generating a North America profit margin of 10%. The auto maker's profit margin reached 7.5% in the fourth quarter.

Write to Jeff Bennett at jeff.bennett@wsj.com

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