Early 2007 prices from General Motors show that the automaker has abandoned last year's price-cutting excursion and has returned to old-fashioned ways for the new season.
Automotive News has learned that 2007 intro prices for Buick will rise an average of $492, or 1.8 percent, and Pontiac sticker prices will go up an average of $581, or 2.6 percent.
That's a turnaround from a year ago. At intro time for the 2006 vehicles, prices declined for both Buick and Pontiac. GM's big price cut came in January, and Buick wound up with an average reduction of $1,230 for the model year. Pontiac prices dropped an average of $900 per model.
During the 2006 model year, GM has expressed satisfaction with its value-pricing measures. The program, GM said, was doing what it was designed to do -- bring transaction prices closer to sticker prices and reduce cash rebates to customers.
But now, GM has gone back to the old way of doing things: Introduction time means a price increase, whether or not anything about the new models justifies it.
Although Buick and Pontiac prices will rise, there will be no change in the sticker prices of two of GM's major lines. At least for the moment.
The 2007 Chevrolet Silverado full-sized pickup, GM's best-selling vehicle, and its twin, the 2007 GMC Sierra, bow at 2006 prices.
But there's a big "but." They are really carryover models. The restyled and re-engineered 2007 pickups will arrive in November (half-ton) and early next year (three-quarter-ton and 1-ton).
Prices probably will be increased at those times. It is a production and supply situation, and it is similar to Ford's experience in the 2004 model year when the F-150 Heritage (a carryover 2003) filled the gap as output of the new 2004 F-150 was being revved up.
While the intro prices of the carryover big pickups will not be raised, they are not entirely without a price increase. Most of them rose $375 to $550 in late April. It is a tactic that automakers use often: Raise the price late in the model year to soften the increase when the new models arrive.
Also coming in at their current prices are the 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche, Tahoe and Suburban; the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, and the Cadillac Escalade two-wheel drive, awd and ESV. All are large SUVs that went on sale early this year as 2007 models.
You may e-mail John K. Teahen Jr. at [email protected]