DETROIT -- General Motors Co. has changed course and will hold a fall truck sale for its GMC and Chevrolet brands after all.
The event is scheduled to run from Friday, Sept. 25, through Nov. 2, according to a memo sent to dealers. A person familiar with the plan said the sale will be advertised in separate campaigns for GMC and Chevrolet.
In an interview last week, marketing chief Bob Lutz said GM had opted to drop its annual September Chevrolet truck sale even though rival Ford Motor Co. is holding one. GM planned to focus on its “May the Best Car Win” image campaign instead.
GM is expected to put an extra $1,000 cash on several GMC 2010 pickups, SUVs and crossovers, including the Buick Enclave, the memo says. GM is expected to put $500 on the 2009 and 2010 models of the GMC Canyon pickup.
For Chevrolet, the sale is on all trucks and the 2010 Malibu sedan, according to the memo. All 2009 Silverados and Colorado pickups and the 2010 Malibu should have 0 percent financing for 60 months, dealers say.
GM is also expected to put $1,500 cash on the 2010 Malibu and $1,000 on the 2010 Impala sedan, Traverse crossover, Tahoe and Suburban SUVs and Avalanche and Silverado pickups.
“This is good -- the money on the trucks,” said Tommy Brasher, owner of Brasher Motor Co. in Weimar, Texas. He sells Chevrolet and Buick.
He added: “The money on the 2010 models is a nonevent because there aren't any of them in stock.”
Brasher has no 2010 cars in stock. He estimates he has a 30-day supply of 2009 and 2010 trucks.
“The incentives are good advertising to get people in the door,” he said. “Then we can sell them whatever we have in stock.”
A GM spokesman says GM will offer 0 percent financing for 60 months making it an official “truck month” but mostly for advertising purposes.
“This is not a corporate wide truck month like you saw a year ago. You'll see some advertising. The ads will use the words ‘truck month', but it's more of a competitive response," says John McDonald, GM spokesman.
In an interview with Automotive News last week, Lutz said GM was forgoing the traditional September Chevrolet truck sale to concentrate on image and product advertising.
“We didn't want an on-sale event to blur the message of ‘May the Best Car Win,' ” said Lutz, vice chairman in charge of marketing.
GM launched its “May the Best Car Win” TV campaign Sunday, featuring GM vehicles challenging competitors.
Ford's Truck Month promotion began Sept. 10 and runs through Oct. 5. It offers incentives as high as $4,500 on F-150 pickups or $5,000 off F-series Super Duty trucks.
Last week Lutz acknowledged that GM might cede truck sales to Ford by opting out of sale, but “that's a price that we willingly paid.”