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GM to end employee-discount offers Sept. 30

/ Source: The Associated Press

General Motors Corp. said Thursday it will end its employee-discount incentive on Sept. 30.

GM was the first automaker to let all customers pay the employee price in June, primarily on 2005 models as a way to clear out inventory. Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group followed in July. GM originally planned to end the incentive Aug. 1, but it was extended to match Ford and Chrysler.

Ford and Chrysler have extended their discounts to Oct. 3.

"We're starting to focus on transitioning to our '06 models," GM spokeswoman Deborah Silverman said. She said the company told dealers Wednesday the promotion was ending.

Silverman added that GM is keeping some 2006 sport utility vehicles and full-size trucks on its employee-pricing plan through Sept. 30. Ford stopped offering employee pricing on some 2006 SUVs earlier this week. Chrysler hasn't offered 2006 vehicles at the employee price.

The Big Three saw a phenomenal increase in sales over the summer thanks to the discounts, although GM's sales fell in August as the automaker ran low on 2005 inventory. All three have said they want to rely less on incentives as they roll out 2006 models. Ford and GM lowered overall prices on many of their 2006 models in an effort to move away from incentives.