GM to extend employee-pricing discount

/ Source: The Associated Press

General Motors Corp. will extend its employee-pricing discount plan on select 2005 models until Sept. 30, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

The world's biggest automaker also plans to apply the discount to select 2006 full-size trucks and sport utility vehicles, said spokeswoman Brenda Rios. The program lets customers buy vehicles at the employee rate.

GM was the first of the Big Three to offer employee prices for all consumers in June. GM's sales shot up 41 percent that month. Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group followed with their own employee-pricing plans in July.

GM and Ford had extended discount plans in August, and Chrysler had extended the deal indefinitely. GM's incentives had been scheduled to run through Sept. 6; Ford's also are set to expire that day.

Messages seeking comment were left Thursday with Ford and Chrysler.

The programs have helped the automakers achieve near-record sales. The industry reported a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 20.8 million units for July, the highest since a record 21.8 million rate in October 2001, according to research firm Autodata Corp.