And it worked.
New-car buyers came back to the showrooms. As a result, September sales were down, but not as much as they might have been.
There is a downside.
The incentives are expensive. Analysts say they cost GM more than $3,000 per car, and the Chrysler group more than $2,200 per car.
That won't help the bottom line.
And there is another potential problem. If the crisis doesn't end soon, or if we consumers become bored with 0 percent financing, what can the automakers do for an encore?