The months-long effort by General Motors Co.’s (NYSE: GM) Chevy to lure buyers for its Silverado pickup line continued through Memorial Day, as discounts continued as high as $8,600.
Chevy currently offers the Silverado 1500 Double-Cab All Star Edition with a $4,750 cash allowance, $3,100 discount of MSRP and $750 option discount package.
Related Silverado 2WD and 4WD V8s also have incentives that total nearly $8,000.
The reason for the discounts is that Chevy is losing the race to its two primary rivals. The Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) F-150 continues to be the best-selling car or light truck in America. Chrysler’s RAM 150 is gaining on the Silverado, which normally ranks second in pickup sales.
Through the first four months of the year, F-150 sales have risen 3.9% to 236,745. Silverado sales are down 3.5% to 150,512. RAM sales are up an extraordinary 22.5% to 133,580. At the current rate of unit sales increase, RAM could pass the Silverado by the end of 2014.
The editors of Automotive.com offered this assessment of Chevy’s problem:
As the newest available pickup on the market, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 came with big expectations. And generally, the model succeeded with better fuel economy and more refinement, and it even was named the 2014 North American Truck of the Year. But compared to other pickups, its sales numbers tell a different story.
Chevy is fortunate that the most successful Japanese companies have had absolutely no success in the pickup market, a situation quite different than the one they find themselves in with car sales. If Chevy has any hope, it is that the pickup market remains only a three-horse race.
However, it is a race Chevy is losing.