The pickup is as much of a stereotypical American icon as gun ownership and throwing things away. Last year was a particularly good one for trucks, with Ford F-Series sales reaching pre-recession volume and a 10-year high and Ram recording a seventh year of growth. However, with sales peaking for the other domestic labels, General Motors’ share of the market shrunk.
What’s the solution to whatever consumers find lacking with GM’s product? A price war, of course. While Ford Motor Company and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are scaling back, GM upped incentives from last February by 56 percent for the Chevrolet Silverado and 82 percent for the GMC Sierra. With the pickup segment being so important in North America, nobody wants to lose ground. Aggressive discounts are often the only way to overwhelm brand loyalty, but the practice is also guaranteed to eat into profits while annoying the competition.
“It’s taking a lot more incentives now to move the metal than it did last year or certainly the year before,” Autotrader senior analyst Michelle Krebs told Bloomberg. “Things are slowing.”
While Ford and FCA continue to do well with pickups, General Motor’s shrinking sales reflects the automotive market as a whole. The industry is cooling off after several years of steady growth and, apparently, the F-Series is yet to get the memo. The result is Chevrolet spending 85 percent more in discounts per truck than Ford.
“Last month, GM’s pickup sales were down,” Frank Ursomarso, owner of Union Park GMC in Delaware, explained. “That’s why they’re doing this. GM has to battle against Ram and Ford.”
General Motors is calling this incentivizing part of “Truck Month.” The promotion includes reductions of 25 percent on some 2016 Sierra pickups and as much as $11,185 in discounts for certain 2017 Silverado models. If the F-Series’ place as North America’s best-selling vehicle for the 35th consecutive year doesn’t appeal to you, and you’re not a Mopar fanatic, this might not be a terrible month to roll some change and head into a Chevrolet dealership.
Then again, you could also wait a little while and see if GM’s wealth of discounts and the slowing market forces other truck manufactures to follow suit.
[Image: General Motors]