As month-end quickly approaches, US auto execs are getting copies of their double-super-secret internal sales numbers — which probably explains why we've been seeing so many of their faces turning whiter than snow despite the hot June sun. Our insiders tell us they can already see the sales declines — and the fear of what's yet to come this summer. So what's that going to mean for consumers like us? Well, it'll more than likely mean the Big Three are yet again taking from the Oprah playbook — and looking to give it away, give it away, give it away now — just to get those ol' busted 2006 models out the door and off of the showroom floor. So if you're in the market for a new car, look forward to the same idyllic purchase prices of last summer as the automakers push out those employee pricing and big-league incentive plans again. The rumors we've heard are that each automaker's got their own twist on last summer's everything for a buck sale — everything from not-so-Bold Moves to the reveal of "Step 2" — and all of it's after the jump:
Ford: Although they've already stepped up to the plate this summer with the Taylor Hicks-approved "zero and zero" plan of 0% financing and $0 for gas. But, it doesn't look like even Taylor Hicks Idol-like power is keeping Ford from looking for employee purchasing mojo. As of earlier this week, Ford's "got family, and just like all their sisters" they've already announced employee purchasing in Canada, and like the growing tide of illegal immigration, there's no reason to believe they're gonna be stopped by something as silly as the border. But it's no fait accompli — we hear Ford's "Bold Move" is to wait and see what DaimlerChrysler and GM do first. That's how Ford's gonna drive America forward — by being innovative on everything but purchasing incentives.
Chrysler Group: Chrysler Group CEO Tom Lasorda told a group of reporters, us included (we know, it's totally not our normal thing and we apologize for it. Please realize the thought of actual reporting makes us want to vomit a little bit in our mouths — so if you want the story, you can always see what the Detroit News' Josee Valcourt wrote today — Josee's a professional, was standing right next to us, and seemed to actually be paying attention), yesterday in Chelsea the German-US hybrid of a car company's "preparing a new incentive program...[that] will surprise the marketplace." According to details we've heard from multiple sources, the "surprise" is a 30-day money-back guarantee and 0% financing on top of the already low employee pricing. Oh, and Dieter's personally unveiling "Step 2" in commercials a la Lee Iacocca.
GM: Ooh, this could be fun — what's the big boy on the block going to do? According to other reporters in Chelsea yesterday, GM"s claiming they're doing just fine with the value pricing — a plan whereby they price down the MSRP's to a number closer to the actual selling price, rather than relying on rebates and incentives and/or fleecing of the consumer at a price above and beyond what they're really selling for. But...just because they're "value pricing" gameplan won't allow them to drop their prices for the customers — there's nothing that says they can't drop interest-rates on the cars, right? The rumor in today's Freep article by Joe Guy Collier (who's much taller than we thought he'd be) is GM will be offering 0% interest on a six-year purchase. We mean, yeah — it's not an incentive if you just put it in a little bit and then, only on the interest, right?
Ad Watch: Run Ford Your Life — It's Taylor Hicks! [internal]