GM Counters Ford With Huge Discounts on Pickups

Now might be a really good time to shop for a full-size pickup truck. Early this month, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) offered a $1,000 bonus cash incentive on some F-150 pickups, following sales of nearly 71,000 of its F-Series trucks in June. General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), which says sales for its Chevy Silverado dropped 3.7% in June and sales of the GMC Sierra fell by 7.8%, had to respond.

And it has, in a big way. According to a report from Bloomberg News, July incentives on a Chevy Silverado rose 76% compared with June incentives to an average of $7,962. Incentives on a GMC Sierra averaged $9,457, up a whopping 147% month over month.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) is offering average incentives totaling $6,172 on full-size Ram pickups.

Ford’s average incentive on an F-150 was $4,457, according to Bloomberg, but we noted total incentives on an F-150 XLT Supercab or SuperCrew  of $8,050 on “specially tagged vehicles.” GM’s current promotion, the “Chevy Summer Sell Down,” advertises a cash back incentive of $10,042 on a 2016 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab LT All Star with four-wheel drive.

According to Kelley Blue Book, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) on the F-150 is more than $44,000 and more than $46,000 on the Silverado. GM is essentially adding four-wheel drive to the Silverado at no charge.

GM advertised its steel-bed pickups heavily in June, but the numbers say that the promotion did not lure buyers away from the aluminum-bed F-150. A GM spokesman said the ads “had their desired impact,” and the early July promotion succeeded wildly:

We had an eight-day sale that absolutely obliterated Ford and our other competition, especially in full-size pickups. Fully half of the full-size pickups sold to retail customers during the first 10 days of July were a Chevrolet Silverado or a GMC Sierra.

That sounds good, but in December 2015, combined monthly market share for Silverado and Sierra totaled 51.3% of all full-size pickups sold. By June that had dropped to 38.0%, while Ford’s market share rose from 39.0% to 40.3%.

In all of 2015, GM sold more than 825,000 Silverado (601,000) and Sierra (224,000) pickups, compared with a total of 780,000 F-Series trucks.

For the first six months of 2016, the F-Series has notched more than 395,000 sales, up 10.7% year over year. Silverado and Sierra sales combined totaled just over 380,000 in the first half of 2016, up about 1%.