Tags: Offers | Interest-Free | Deals

GM Offers Interest-Free Deals

Thursday, 20 September 2001 12:00 AM

The interest-free incentive program, called "Keep America Rolling," was announced Wednesday afternoon as top auto executives, labor leaders, politicians and government leaders toured GM's Cadillac assembly plant in Hamtramck outside Detroit.

Industry analysts say new vehicle sales dropped 25 percent last week as Americans put off major purchases because of lack of confidence in the economy and the frightening uncertainty of terrorism. Car sales were already slackening before the Sept. 11 attacks and the Big Three automakers all laid off thousands of employees.

"We have to get America moving again," said Commerce Secretary Don Evans. "There is no question the auto industry is the backbone of our economy."

GM's zero-percent financing program will run until Oct. 31 -- with no interest financing on all 36-month loans on all 2001 and 2002 vehicles, including and Saturn and Saab. Interest on 48-month loans will be zero percent for 2001 cars and 0.9 percent for current model year trucks. For longer term 60-month loans, financing will be zero percent for 2001 cars and 2.9 percent for trucks for 2001 models.

For 2002 cars, buyers will pay 0.9 percent to finance 48-month auto loans and 2.9 percent for 48-month truck loans. Sixty-month loans for 2002 cars will be 2.9 percent and 4.9 percent for 2002 trucks.

GM, which hasn't offered zero-percent financing on all models since the 1980s, said existing vehicle and rebate programs would remain in effect.

"We know this is a difficult time to talk about an incentive program, but GM has a responsibility to help stimulate the economy by encouraging Americans to purchase vehicles, to support our dealers and suppliers, and to keep our plants operating and our employees working," said Ron Zarrella, GM President for North American Operations.

GM CEO J. Richard Wagoner said despite slowing sales the industry was strong and that a downturn was not inevitable.

Chrysler Group President Dieter Zetsche called the terrorism in New York and Washington "a tragedy for everyone in the world" but said Chrysler, which is offering deep discounts as it struggles to regain profitability, had no plans to match GM's buyer incentive program.

Ford plans to cut production at five U.S. plants this week and said it would evaluate the market before making a decision on whether to offer zero-percent financing. The automakers all experienced parts shortages last week because of grounded airfreight and tighter security at U.S borders that delayed truck shipments up to 36 hours at customs stations.

GM said parts shortages reduced production by some 10,000 vehicles last week.

AFL-CIO President John Sweeny, who once represented union workers at New York's World Trade Center, said it was important to keep the auto industry strong.

"Out of all the shock and suffering and sadness, it is so important for us to forge a national community," he said.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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The interest-free incentive program, called Keep America Rolling, was announced Wednesday afternoon as top auto executives, labor leaders, politicians and government leaders toured GM's Cadillac assembly plant in Hamtramck outside Detroit. Industry analysts say new...
Offers,Interest-Free,Deals
476
2001-00-20
Thursday, 20 September 2001 12:00 AM
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