GM Prepares to End Zero Credit Scheme

27 August 2002

Summerdrive, the sales-snatching interest free consumer credit scheme run by General Motors, is destined for the scrapheap when the present program has run its course on September 3.

According to GM dealers, they have been told there will be no ‘Falldrive’ or ‘Winterdrive’ – in marked contrast to Ford Motor Company and Chrysler, both of which last week announced they would extend at least until the end of September their competing credit offers.

GM-watchers believe the giant automaker’s decision is prompted by the range of new models already launched, or due to be launched, this month and next. Many of these will be supported by other types of incentive, although none are likely to be as munificent as the zero credit option.

GM declined to comment on the termination of its scheme – nor whether it had succeeded in unloading all of its surplus inventory. The company is expected to announce details of its new incentive offers on September 4 – the day after its current incentive program ends.

According to Michigan-based bank Comerica, never before in the nation’s history have new cars been so affordable. Thanks to the generous [some say desperate] range of incentives dangled before consumers’ noses during this year’s second quarter, it took Joe and Joanna Public an average of just 20.9 weeks of pretax income to buy a car.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff