GM keeps zero-interest deals rolling

Oct. 18, 2001 at 11:18 AM
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DETROIT, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- With sales rising after offering no-interest incentives in the wake of last month's terrorist attacks, General Motors will extend its interest-free deals though Nov. 18.

Zero-interest financing will remain available on Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Saturn models and light and medium-duty trucks, but not Hummer or Saab vehicles.

GM's "Keep America Rolling" program was announced Sept. 20 and was matched by both Ford and Chrysler. The program, which was to have ended Oct. 31, helped GM to boost its dwindling market share to 29.9 percent last month, 1.9 percent higher than September 2000.

"This highly successful marketing program is clearly achieving its objectives to stimulate vehicle sales and to help stimulate economic activity during this critical time," said Bill Lovejoy, GM Group vice president for vehicle sales, service and marketing.

Ford and Chrysler also saw sales jumps but have not said whether they will extend their zero-financing deals.

GM offers no-interest financing on 36- to 60-month loans for 2001 model cars and three-year loans on 2002 models. Rates on new 2002 models range from 0.9 percent for 48 months to 2.9 percent for 60 months.

The Big Three automakers offered the no- and low-interest deals in place of other buyer incentives and the programs will not have a significant impact on third-quarter earnings. There could be more deals in store for prospective car buyers since auto firms traditionally launch their year-end sales events around Thanksgiving.

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