GM Discounts, Incentives, Confusion (Pt. 1)

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

A recent email from the increasing inconsolable Buickman (a.k.a. Jim Dollinger) had me shaking my head in disbelief. Buickman listed all the discounts available at your local GM store: AARP, GM Discount, Recent College Grad, Active Military, Olds Owner, Father who was a UAW Retiree, Owned Import Took Overnight Test Drive, Incremental Allowance, Bonus Cash and Matching Down payment. Our own Frank Williams says The General's also offering up to three percent against vehicle purchase on GM's Flexible Earnings credit card, special financing offers ranging from 0% to 4.9% and up to $5000 cash back (depending on the model and trim level). Oh, and don't forget regional deals. NOW how much would you pay for that Chevy Silverado? Hell if I know.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

More by Robert Farago

Join the conversation
4 of 18 comments
  • Brownie Brownie on Jul 12, 2007

    It's not just the domestics that play these pricing games. My in-laws managed to buy a Lexus ES for a price that would leave many Camry buyers angry and embarassed. Of course they are iron-fisted negotiators. Personally I don't have the stomach for it, which is why I always buy used - in one of the great ironies of modern life pricing on used cars is far more transparent than on new cars.

  • NN NN on Jul 12, 2007

    The GM card is an interesting topic to cover...I get 5% of whatever I spend into an account for a GM car. Typically, a 2-3% of a transaction is paid to credit card issuers by merchants, as well as a transaction fee of 25 cents or so. Over the years of use of my card, was GMAC the benefactor of the 2-3%? HSBC is actually the bank that issued the card. So what is GM getting in return on the 5% of every transaction I make going to one of their cars? I've amassed nearly $3500 on my GM card since I first got it about 5 years ago. Now I am at the point where the only vehicles where I can use my full GM Card discount on are the real dogs. The new Silverado and other decent vehicles only allow $1k of your GM Card discount to apply. No discounts for Saturn, either, which is a wife and I kind of like the Aura. jurisb...your frequent posts on the American flight from engineering depress me, though I agree with and am aware of most of your points. Americans still do engineer some high-tech, high expense items...satellites, rockets, military technology, etc. But most consumer products are no longer engineered by Americans. Even the Big 2.8 only engineer their full-size truck products, and a few spare vehicles (Corvette) in the states nowadays. I think it's great that GM is doing most Volt engineering in the US...hopefully that vehicle actually comes to market someday. My question to you, jurisb--obviously a European (Latvia?)--, is whether the same is happening in Europe, also. Of course BMW/Porsche/Daimler still engineer their vehicles in Germany, but besides those few examples, are the Europeans outsourcing engineering to the Asians for the majority of their consumer products as well? I wouldn't be surprised to find that they are...or will be doing moreso, in the near future.

  • Craiggbear Craiggbear on Jul 12, 2007

    I have had a GM Visa Card for nearly a decade. My plan was to buy an inexpensive (???) small new car for my kids to use. Essentially a throw away - but hopefully good enough for 3 - 5 years to get us through the experience. At the time, the Suzuki based car Chevy was selling (I forget the name now) was listing for less than $10G. So with my $3500 (that was their offer at the time)I was looking at $6500 or so. Not bad. Even for a crap car - if it was on warranty - I could deal with it. By the time I got enough points to do a deal - just at that point, GM both dropped the product line and changed the redemption deal from a $3500 discount on all cars to a variable amount depending on the car. The cheapest car in their line-up was over $13000 and I felt cheated. Still do. Add product quality and design to the mix - so long GM.

  • Ronin Ronin on Jul 12, 2007

    The original GM MasterCard issued originally in the early 90s still yields 5% discount on most GM cars, with no cap on earned amount. $3500 means $3500. About 5 years ago GM came out with a new card with caps on models, and slammed many legacy cardholders with promises of a card 'upgrade.'