DETROIT -- General Motors said Monday that it would launch a 0 percent financing program starting Tuesday, June 24, while raising prices on 2009 models by an average of 3.5 percent.
GM executives also said they plan to boost output of some compact and mid-sized cars and crossovers, and that they have hired Citibank to help review the Hummer brands future.
In an effort to boost June sales, GM plans a 72 Hour Sale from Tuesday through Monday, June 30, GMs Mark LaNeve said. LaNeve is GMs vice president of vehicle sales, service and marketing.
The sale will offer customers 0 percent financing for 72 months on all GM brands, LaNeve said.
We know how to do this, we throw considerable media weight behind it," LaNeve said on a conference call with journalists today. "Its a really simple offer thats very compelling. Its a good way to finance if someones upside down on their vehicles.
The sale includes over 80 percent of GM's grounded 2008 model year, he said. It covers all GM trucks and large SUVs, along with many smaller SUVs.
None of GM's hot-selling crossovers such as the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook are included.
The only models excluded are the ones that we are very tight on inventory, LaNeve said.
GM also will offer $500 cash to customers who buy, rather than lease, vehicles, say dealers who listened to a conference call with LaNeve earlier Monday. LaNeve also said GM will raise prices of 2009 vehicles an average of 3.5 percent.
"It wont be 3.5 percent across the board," LaNeve said. "Itll be a little higher on some products and lower on others."
Premium brands included
GM has included the premium brands in the 72 Hour Sale. Cadillac includes everything except the CTS, which only gets zero percent for 36 months on the 2008 model, a dealer said. GM put an additional $1,000 cash on the Escalade. Saab includes the 9-3 sedan and 9-7 SUV and Hummer includes H2 and H3.
At Thompson Sales Co. in Springfield, Mo., owner Lynn Thompson believes he will sell an additional 45 to 50 cars during this last week now due to the sale. That will bring him closer to last June's sales figures, but he'll still be down about 10 percent.
The first 17 days of the month were horrendous, just awful," Thompson says. "I think the gas price shock all you saw every time you turned on the TV was that gas was up, gas was up the media was just feeding on it. It was unbelievable. I think it just wore people down.