Employees, retirees and their families now will get a flat 4 percent off of the invoice price, plus the destination charge and a $150 program fee. The special pricing is available across most Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models.
Under the previous program, discounts were calculated under a more complex formula and fluctuated by model. GM documents describing the new program tout it as a simpler, more transparent deal offering "even bigger savings for you and your extended family."
For example, an employee buyer now will save an additional $649 on a 2014 Cruze 2LT compared with the previous program, the documents show. The new system saves an additional $528 on a 2014 GMC Terrain SLE-2.
GM also permanently expanded the program to include aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews in addition to spouses, parents, children and siblings. Previously, GM offered discounts to extended family only occasionally, and on a month-to-month basis.
As of Dec. 31, GM had 80,000 U.S. hourly and salaried employees and 509,000 retirees and their spouses, according to the company's annual report.
A GM spokesman confirmed that the new program was introduced as "a response to feedback from employees and a desire to simplify the business and make life easier for dealers."
The changes should boost business for dealerships near GM plants and facilities.
"We expect volume to go up because of it," says Duane Paddock, owner of Paddock Chevrolet in Kenmore, N.Y. The store is 3 miles from GM's Tonawanda engine plant, which employs nearly 1,900 hourly and salaried workers.
Sales to employees, retirees and their families already account for about 35 percent of Paddock's business.
GM's employee pricing program has changed many times over the years. The outgoing program was introduced shortly after GM emerged from bankruptcy in 2009.
In the summer of 2005, GM ran an employee-price-for-everyone promotion that sparked a surge in sales.
The expanded employee discounts come amid a fresh round of incentives on GM's redesigned 2014 pickup trucks, which are running up against heavy discounts from rivals Ford and Ram. Sales of GM's full-sized pickups fell 8 percent last month; 2014 models accounted for about 60 percent of September volume.
Overall, GM's September sales slid 11 percent on a sharp drop in deliveries to rental-fleet customers and weaker sales at Chevrolet.
The company's U.S. sales have climbed 7.6 percent this year through August in an overall market that has expanded 8 percent.
GM's share of the U.S. market slipped to 18 percent through August, compared to 18.1 percent through the same period in 2012.