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When everyone's an employee, only employees will get discounts. That's the tenet US automakers seem to be rallying around like mad footballers. In the wake of GM's market-share increase (nearly five percentage points, to 30%) reportedly spurred by its widespread employee discount program, moves by Ford and DaimlerChrysler hint at an impending throwdown. Last week, Ford doffed its cap to employees and pensioners by doubling the circle of friends and family to whom they could give their discounts to eight — far from everyone, but at least it's still technically an "employee discount." Today, news outlets were abuzz after DaimlerChrysler Chief, Dieter Zetsche, told a group of dealers that the company was considering matching GM's offer. In the end, automakers all seem to be saying the same thing: They're prepared to cut profit margins, which are already thin as a window sticker, to gain on market-share — a metric that's more likely to light a fire under their sagging stock value. I guess now we all know who's really pulling their strings, and it's not car buyers.

Chrysler may match GM deals [The Detroit News]

Zetsche's Chrysler Eyes Worker Discounts For Outsiders [Forbes]

Related:
GM Offers Employee Discount to All Buyers [internal]