DETROIT - By edict of General Motors, Oldsmobile cars and trucks are lame ducks or orphans. By another GM edict, Oldsmobiles also have become better bargains.
GM signed Oldsmobile's death warrant on Dec. 12 but did not specify a date of interment. The corporation hopes to keep the brand alive for two or three years, and that was the goal of a new round of incentives that took effect last week.
The basic rebates on 2000 and 2001 Oldsmobiles are unchanged, but higher year-end bonuses add $500 to $1,000 to the pot. A new round of $1,500 'loyalty' payments seeks to keep Olds owners in the fold.
The loyalty award is for owners or lessees of 1996-2001 Oldsmobiles. It is $1,500 toward any 2000, 2001 or 2002 Olds or $1,000 toward any other 2000, 2001 or 2002 GM product.
For buyers of 2001 Oldsmobiles - who GM hopes still exist - rebates are $1,750 on the Alero and Intrigue cars and $2,000 on the Silhouette minivans and Bravada sport-utilities. The payments include a year-end bonus of $1,000, up from $500 before Dec. 18.
The 2001 Aurora has no rebate, but it has a $1,500 year-ender, up from $500.
On 2000 models, the spiffs are $2,500 on the Alero and Intrigue and $3,500 on the Silhouette and Bravada. A $500 year-end bonus is included. Before Dec. 18, the 2000 models carried no year-end appetizer.
Buick's big cars also shared in GM's year-end-bonus date. The 2001 Park Avenue and the 2000 and 2001 LeSabre have new $500 year-end payments.