DETROIT -- Everyone can be a General Motors employee again.
Coming off a record sales month in June, GM will extend its "Employee Discount for Everyone" incentive program until Aug. 1, offering employee pricing levels on most 2005 vehicles, several dealers say.
The only vehicles excluded from the program are the Pontiac GTO and Chevrolet Corvette cars and Hummer H1 SUV.
Spurred by the promotion, GM's sales increased 46.9 percent last month over year-ago levels. GM sold more cars and light trucks than any month since September 1986.
The GM program was so popular that the Chrysler group announced plans to offer the same discounts beginning Wednesday.
Ford Motor Co. told managers it would match the GM program. A spokesman said on Tuesday that no final decisions had been made yet.
Paul Ballew, GM's head of global market and industry analysis, told reporters and analysts on a conference call on Friday, July 1, that GM's cost of incentives were flat or up only slightly in June compared to May.
But Autodata Corp. of Woodcliff Lake, N.J., said GM's June incentives increased about 11 percent over the previous month to an industry-leading average of $4,458 per vehicle.
"This is just going to lead to lower sticker prices in general," Autodata's Dave Lucas said of GM's program and the mounting pressure on other automakers to match it.
"This will have ramifications across even the Japanese," Lucas added. "They certainly will feel the pressure."
In a move quickly matched by both Ford and Chrysler, GM helped spur demand for new cars and trucks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States by offering across-the board interest-free financing.
Merrill Lynch analyst John Casesa said he expects GM to keep using employee discounts until they stop working, much as it did with the zero-percent incentive.
As a result, investors should expect "an increasingly promotional environment in the near-term," Casesa said in a research note.
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contributed to this report.