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GM offering incentives on full-sized pickups

From reuters| May 09,2007

General Motors is offering a new round of incentives on its redesigned pickups to compete with other automakers in the struggling segment, a spokesman said today.

The automaker is offering zero-percent financing for up to 36 months on the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, with reduced-rate financing on loans up to 60 months.

Customers can also opt for $1,250 cash back on the Sierra or $1,500 on the Silverado instead of the financing offer.

"This is in response to competitive incentive offerings in the marketplace," GM spokesman John McDonald said. "Everyone out there has big incentives on their pickups, there is a lot of pressure in the segment."

The incentives kicked off Friday, May 4, and run through July 9.

Incentive wars on pickups are expected to heat up this summer, with the typically profitable segment under pressure from weak U.S. housing starts and a general shift in consumer taste due to high gasoline prices, analysts have said.

Standard & Poor's analysts in April said the U.S. full-sized pickup market is "at an historic crossroads, as new-product introductions are increasing competition and demand remains below the peaks of recent years."

Sales of the Silverado fell more than 7 percent in April.

Ford Motor Co., which is competing in the pickup market with no new products, saw its F-series sales fall more than 12 percent in April.

Toyota Motor Corp., which launched a new version of its Tundra pickup in March, is already having to offer incentives to stir sales.

The pickup market is expected to shrink about 10 percent by the end of the year.

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