DETROIT -- For those who have been hiding under a rock, the Big 3 made the big news in incentives last week.
General Motors extended its GM Employee Discount for Everyone until Aug. 1. Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler group tagged along reluctantly. Ford's program is called the Ford Family Plan; Chrysler's is Employee Pricing Plus. Lee Iacocca, Chrysler's former spokesman par excellence, returns as pitchman.
Different names, same game. Most 2005 Big 3 cars and light trucks are priced at 2 to 4 percent below dealer invoice, and then the rebates (listed in the table on this page) are deducted. It carries the age-old rebate programs to the nth degree.
On a loaded full-sized SUV, for example, the buyer may pay $9,000 or $10,000 less than sticker price.
But that wasn't the end of last week's incentive action. The regular givebacks expired Tuesday, July 5, for the Big 3 and most of the imports, and new ones took their place.