GM Will Resume Employee Discount Program, Ads in LA Times

Washington DC August 3, 2005; The AIADA newsletter reported that General Motors dealer confirmed reports Tuesday that it will indeed continue to offer car buyers its employee-pricing discount plan through Sept. 6, reported The Detroit News.

GM’s decision came as a surprise after the automaker had previously announced the deals that led to a 41 percent jump in sales last month would end Monday.

Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG announced separately plans to extend their similar discounts deals as well. Ford said Monday that its plan would continue through Sept. 6; DaimlerChrysler announced Tuesday it will extend employee pricing indefinitely on most 2005 Chrysler vehicles, along with up to $3,500 in additional incentives on some vehicles.

A GM spokeswoman did not immediately confirm that the Employee Pricing deals were being extended. On Monday, the company announced it will lower prices on 30 of its 76 vehicles for the 2006 model year and will begin offering consumer rebates between $500 and $2,500 on some new 2006 models -- most of which will include full-size trucks and SUVs, according to GM spokeswoman Deborah Silverman.

In other news: The hot new 2006 Pontiac Solstice roadster graced a full-page ad in The Los Angeles Times Monday, effectively ending the coverage rift that led General Motors to abstain from running corporate ads in the paper over the past four-months, reports Reuters. According to the Times, “GM pulled its ads in April after a column by Times automotive critic Dan Neil called on the automaker to oust Chief Executive Rick Wagoner. At the time, GM executives said they had concerns beyond Neil’s column but declined to publicly air them.”

More from the Times: “Times spokeswoman Martha Goldstein said Monday that the paper has "had productive conversations with GM, and while we didn’t see the need to run a correction, we listened to their concerns.” GM spokesman Brian Akre said the automaker and Times executives "have respectfully agreed to disagree on some of the issues" that caused the rift. "We appreciate [The Times’] ongoing willingness to listen." Akre said the decision to resume advertising was made by GM’s Western region manager, Michael Jackson, "in line with our current newspaper strategy for the region."”

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