Chevy Responds to Sales Loss By Ramping Up Incentives

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Nothing motivates an athlete like good competition, and that's exactly what Chevrolet wants us to think about how it's responding to the March sales totals that put Ram just a nose ahead of the Chevrolet Silverado in monthly sales: 42,532 versus 42,247. Statistically, that's a difference of just more than one-half of 1 percent. The year-to-date numbers put Ram about 11,000 units behind Chevy for 2014, and it could be even less by the end of the first quarter.

To combat this encroachment, according to Automotive News, Chevy is extending its relatively successful Truck Month promotion and adding bonus cash on select Silverado models, specifically both light-duty and heavy-duty double-cab pickup trucks. Several regional sales managers reportedly wrote some strongly worded communiqu├ęs to rally the sales troops to take back the monthly title by the end of April.

There has been a loud and vocal debate about which manufacturers are using the most incentive money to lure customers who value price above all else. Some argue this is a short-sighted way of boosting sales and losing profit margin, while others argue that not using incentives gives the competition a significant advantage. If history is any indication, finding the right balance is not easy for any truckmaker.

Both Ram and Chevy have worked hard in the last several weeks to get their days supply of pickups down while watching incentive spending as much as possible. But as some regional managers have noted, the gloves will have to come off if they're going to win this monthly battle. We expect to see more promotions and possibly more creative TV commercials as the truck race heats up through the more aggressive sales months in summer and fall. photo by Mark Williams



Too little too late GM.

I bet Ram steps it up even more. ram is about to release info on 2015 Ram 1500's and HD's. I think chevy is little too late.

"The 1980s called. They want their marketing strategy back. It's really easy to deeply discount your truck, mine the subprime market and offer cheap lease deals to buy market share."

I bet ford is just loving that these two are battling it out with huge incentives while they sit comfortably with a huge lead and the most out-dated truck of the three.


Actually RAM dealers want to clear the legacy trims off the lots.

The six-speed HEMI models are being heavily discounted to allow RAM dealers to focus customers on the newer drivetrain packages (8speed and Pentastar).

LMAO at GM. I knew they would give in eventually. Its too late though. People have already moved on. Their POS fanboy trucks arent even worth it when heavily discounted.

When is GM going to release info on the Colorado and Canyon?

Despite all the noise in Automotive News, we are still being strategic about which trucks get the higher incentives. The focus is on 2015 1500 double cabs (really good midlevel trucks) and on the 2014 HDs, which are still solid trucks, though not as nice inside as the 2015 HDs now arriving at dealerships.

Look for Colorado and Canyon to arrive in dealerships in Q4 of this year.

@Mark Williams
Anyone know when Ram is going to release 2015 trucks? Chevy and Ford have both already gave away their info on there 2015 trucks. This gives Ram a chance to out do them. But will they and when will we know?

Doesn't matter to me how much they put on the hood. I refuse to buy a truck with crappy rear end ratios and little gas tanks on short beds. The Chevy doesn't fit my needs.

So how much are we talking? 10K off a Silverado? I'm seeing $8,600 off Rams already. Is GM going farther than that?

How could Chevy "take back the monthly title" when they didn't have that title in the first place? They were second. Now they're third. Last place. So what they really mean is to try to get out of the cellar again. Maybe rather than throwing cash at it and hoping that buys enough sales they should consider looking at what buyer want and need and build their trucks to meet those needs. Also, fire those designers and get someone who knows how to design a decent looking truck.

@JRT You hit the nail on the head my friend. How much would it cost to send college students out to ask why you have a new Ford or Ram in your driveway? How about asking us what we like and don't like about your truck and then do something about it. This mentality of "this is what were building and you are going to buy it" isn't working anymore.

Hmmm GM no longer under the delusion that its vehicles are automatically worth more than the competition? Yeah new Tahoes are "worth" $70,000+ keep dreaming!

Alex, I agree I love the Tahoe but now way I would pay 70K or even 60K for one, not when it cost GM abrout the same price as an Impala to make and they run 30K.

@Alex - I get the feeling that GM was mining (fleecing) the brand loyalists with their pricing. The problem is buyers have grown accustomed to deep discounts, cheep (or free) financing, easy credit, and long terms.

Truck buyers tend to be more loyal than other segments but that loyalty has waned. Durability tends to be the biggest indicator for predicting brand loyalty.

GM has had a "this is what we build-take it or leave it" attitude for too long. Ford and Ram offer multiple engine and trim options. Both Ford and Ram have taken huge risks by moving away from traditional drivetrain and suspension orthodoxy. Ram has made huge gains and Ford has continued to make gains despite the oldest body style.

GM's recalls and Centre Ring spot in the current Congressional Circus also hurts. Barra will be the sacrificial lamb on the altar of political expediency.

CT I agree about the GM double cabs, they should have left it alone, they just don't look right either, if you want a four door you buy a crew cab. they least they could have done was make it looks like an extended cab like Toyota did with the Tundra which is an ugly truck from the front but the double cab looks like an extended cab with the handles blended into the pillar and the smaller sportier window size/shape.

I have been it the market for a new Chevrolet 5.3 and I have not talked to any one that gets mileage over 17 mpg. Even a GM dealer tells me this . I am waiting for the new Ram with eco diesel. Been a GM owner all my life but cannot go on.

@Lou BC: pretty much sums it up. I've posted on here before they ruined the backseat room in both cabs. they try to thow on "we have this too" features like the bumper steps but were poorly executed - cheap plastic & way too high off the ground. They added way too much to the MSRP for '14. Incentives will only get you so far. they went down this road before & went broke. Before '14, GM's design was older than Ford's. they didn't need a gloss over, they needed to do a ground up.


Keep in mind that even the 4.3 V-6 makes more power than the Ram diesel, costs much less to purchase, and unless you live in one of those rare areas where regular gas and diesel are close to parity, it will cost about the same to fuel. (Miles per dollar, not miles per gallon, are what matters to the pocketbook.)

Why more incentives on the double cabs than crew cabs? We have potential to more easily grow that volume, while crew cabs are in tighter supply. We are being strategic here.

I am not in the market for a G.M. truck. My opinion before the recent FIRE RECALLS. Been there done that with FORD, is their trucks are not as good looking than Ram trucks. Don't like the front bulging fenders, front grill. I have not been a fan of G.M. trucks based on looks first. In my opinion they weren't built with the same quality as Ram. C channel frame, rear disk brakes, thin sheet metal and poor paint. Seemed cheap. My friend had an extra cab with suicide doors. Doors would rattle while driving. Not solid like my 03 Ram is. Doesn't rattle or squeak. Fully boxed frame. 5.3 V8 is no where near the power of the Hemi and has piston slap. 6.0 was only optioned in high level trim. Ram offered the Hemi across all line ups.

After the recent recalls you cannot give me a G.M. truck. NOT willing to risk FIRE for me others and my family. The culture now at G.M. after the hearings is they knew they were killing people for money. G.M. was second on my list. Now it's Ram brand only. I won't look anywhere else for a truck, car, suv.

G.M. can rebuild their reputation depending on how they treat the victims who lost their lives from G.M's defective products.
This will take years for me.


Take it for what it's worth. I am telling you my thoughts.

Love the new corvette in black. Don't know if i can support G.M. after what they have done.

Something else to consider: it's been noted that GM didn't really shoot for the stars with this new model. Yes they added direct injection on engines, but otherwise LOTS of the equipment is actually a hold over. The new fully boxed half ton frame is there, but its spread across all their trucks and the new Suburban, Tahoe, and 1/4 ton trucks.

So GM may have a lower cost basis on these trucks as well, making it easier to discount and still make money.

I just traded a 14 Ram for a 14 Silverado and could not
be happier. Ram is like generic sugar, flour, butter and macaroni, although it does the job you don't feel proud when you are using it. Very cheap interior, poor fit and finish and 13 mpg. Like I said, when you buy the generic stuff, you get the generic stuff. Now I'm in Silverado and proud again.

FORD has got to be loving this. Chebby trying to stay competitive with heavy discounts. Less profit per truck. RAM on the other doing what it should be doing all along. Take those sales from chebby...and run!!

FORD...sits back and enjoys the carnage. Oh...and making money hand over fist.

FORD is number 1 for a reason. RAM has seen the light...and going for chebby throat!! GRIN!

I hated my 2006 Chevy bassackwards opening doors. Not only that, I wouldn't buy a Ford Supercab either.

GM cant hardly give the double away, lol. They are more crowded then a Ram quad and Tundra double. Ford guys get the Supercabs highly discounted.

@beebe: Ford is leading incentives now. They also sell most fleets, which is a "how cheap can we get them" way of selling.

Chevy/GMC , as showed, are the number one selling truck in America again this year. Ferds only attract uneducated rednecks who make $8 an hour and ram are just absolute junk bought by sissy's who like girl trucks.

@Tom Wilkinson at Chevy - what #s are you looking at? the 4.3 doesn't make nearly as much torque as the 3.0TDI.

the 4.3 makes 45 more ponies but 115 lb/ft of torque LESS than the Ram & F150 EcoBoost.

this version was warmed up leftovers for the most part. the interior looks & feels nice but that's it. the front looks horrible & functionality missed the mark big time. you wanna sell trucks, you better be busting tail working another refresh to be out by '16-'17 or you're done.

Trx4 you don't buy a double/extended cab for the rear passenger room LOL. Most people get extended gabs to haul gear or what ever not people, but it can do it in a pinch if needed for short rides.

The problem in the US is the lack of flexibility in it's manufacturing sector.

Companies are over producing on a continual basis. The US would be better off if the manufacturers under produce marginally.

If the US manufacturers keep on overproducing they will end up like previously. Broke.

I do know in Australia we tend to under supply in the automotive market. Yes, this does increase prices, but these increases extend into used vehicle prices as well.

We import vehicles, I do think this does tend to inflate our prices marginally as stock cost money (interest) every day it isn't sold.

I can get my mountainbike in the back of my king cab Titan with the clam style doors, I know for a fact I'd have to take the handle bars off the get it through the narrow opening on the double cabs.

@Tom Wilkinson at Chevy. By power of the V6 you mean horsepower. The 4.3 is rated at 285 hp and 305tq while the 3.0 diesel is rated at 240 hp and 420tq.

Chevy loses on that one. No one buys a truck for horsepower anyways.

Since you work at Chevy, why don't you help us all out and tell the engineers that the Colorado should come with a manual transmission on all models to include the diesel engine. This is how you sell trucks. Listening to what the people actually want.

my '10 scab F150. had TONS of room compared to the '14 silverado, I couldn't even get my feet in or out all that well.

fanbois cherp all you want, I can take an F series & outwork the GM twins any day of the week. saw it everyday working construction the only truck that could keep up was the Ram.

& sales, well even subtracting the medium duty, the F series still outsold. the only category was 1/2 ton & you gotta add the GMC units in to beat the F150. 3/4 & 1 ton was all Ford.

I am not buying this Ford and Ram took risk stuff with their drivetrains. They didn't do it to be exiting it was just the cheapest way to get where they are. Ford is a OHC company they couldn't add much more tech to their OHC V8's which already cost more than GM and Chrysler's OHV V8's to put in a $35,000 truck so the Ecoboost strategy was the cheapest way to do it they already had the 3.5L V6 anyways so they minimized risk and maximize resources. Chrysler didn't want to completely redesign the Hemi so it could have direct injection and higher compression ratio so they took the engine they already had and added start/stop, grille shutters, active suspension and sourced an 8-speed. Chrysler already had the Pentastar and 3.0L Diesel in other platforms so putting it in Ram 1500 is minimizing risk and maximize resources. GM did the same thing with their latest trucks they minimized risk and maximize resources by using the same type of engine OHV and same displacements. We all know CAFE is real big hurdle and every company will chose the cheapest, easiest and safest way because your not driving the ultimate driving machine for a $40,000 truck nor will a company take big risks to make a $40,000 truck they will all minimize risk and maximize resources to make big profits. BMW, Audi and Mercedes would have given you a small OHC V8 with direct injection, turbos, start/stop, 8-speed, grille shutters, weight reduction with an active suspension with engines good for about 550hp and 600lb ft and cost about $90,000.

GM getting the pricing right is the best thing they could have done. The recalls as of lately don't help either.

You know people like me thank GM for doing it the simplest way because I like to mod my trucks like I did my Frontier and now my Supercharged Tundra. Their will be nothing an Ecoboost or Hemi can do against the new GM trucks when the mods really get going for the new GM trucks

@old man

Give me a break! The interiors in the ram are leaps and bounds better than plastic ridden Chevrolets!

@AD - you seriously need to keep up with the news better. sure the mod/aftermarket is a factor for some but not most. superchargers & the like are pretty costly. I don't buy a truck to mod I buy it to work & transport. there are LOTS of mods available for the eco & Ford is racing those engines too. the 3.5TT set the qualifying record at Daytona & won the 12 hrs of Sebring.

3rd party support is WAY better for the F Series & Silverado than it is the titan/tundra.

the killer mod for the tundra would be a 3rd party frame ;)

@tj - the Chevy fanboys don't have much to grasp at. Hold on tight to what ever little tiny pearl of hope.

@Tom Wilkinson at Chebby: let's say we're buying two trucks and we're going to tow 6000 or 7000 pounds with them. The Ram 3.0 diesel will smoke that 4.3 on mileage. Non towing and especiallt towing.

Have you not been watching fuel prices? Diesel has stayed about 3.79$ pergallon, while gas has, in my area, and over the same period of a month the diesel has stayed 379, gas went from 3.27 to 3.43. So 35 cents more a gallon, and gas keeps going up.

I guess you didn't read truck of the year either, where the GMC 4.3 REGULAR cab 4 x 4 barely got 10 mpg towing, while the Ecodiesel which was a loaded 4x 4 crewcab, got 15 mpg. Y'all forgive me for comparing cabs and weight of options, it's a terrible thing, right?

Then I see you tried to make light of it when this site compared a Chevy v-6 to a Ram 3.6, and point out that (stripped double cab) Chevy cost 5 k less then the Ram (well equipped crewcab) when if they got the same options on a Ram that the Chevy had, would MSRP well more then 1,000 less then that Chevy. If that Ram were stripped (less weight) it would have out pulled the Chevy EVEN MORE!

I gotta wonder, Tom, what do you say to a customer that complained the seat is not comfortable and the steering wheel is offset? "Ah, you will get used to it!"

Lol, Chevy vs all. Lol. Maybe they should put on those stickers 8 speed auto, and a check mark for Ram, same with air suspension, but both UNAVAILABLE on Chevy. Same for diesel. Oh, it has the tow ratings, lol, no 3.42 geared 5.3 can realistically out tow a 3.55 geared 8 speed hemi.

@ AD fords little 5.0 has been doing that since 2011 with a SC...

You have 4250-5750rpm where you have 240hp or better with the GM 4.3 V6 'LV3'
You drive power, always has been-always will be.

If GM wants to incentive, improve their engines.
320hp 4.6 liter V6 as the standard would be a nice step above the 285hp 3.5 of the '15 F150, and the Chrysler wonder engine 3.6 V6. A match for Ford's 2.7 twin-turbo V6.
400hp 5.7 liter V8, stop messing around.
8 speed automatic for '15.5, otherwise 10 speed automatic for '16.
Failing that, fold up shop and declare bankruptcy, chapter 7 liquidation.

Tom Wilkinson,

How much longer do we have to wait for the 10 speed?

@Tom Wilkinson,
You state;
"Keep in mind that even the 4.3 V-6 makes more power than the Ram diesel"

That comment while it is true is misleading. A V6 Chev pickup has more power than a Medium Duty Hino truck that carries 40 000lbs. But what is the advantage of the diesel Hino over the Chev V6?

I'm not a Fiat Ram fan, but I will defend the VM diesel. A V6 gas engine is not even comparable to a turbo diesel V6.

If you drive around empty, combined with short journeys, then yes the V6 gasoline Chev is better suited. That's about the only advantage the gasoline V6 offers.

@ kmac1036
My friend you need to read a little more the 2nd Gen Tundra had only bed bounce but the Raptor had bent frames.

Very nice for Coyote but that was the 5.3L what will you do against the 6.2L?

@AD - They did take "some" risk by moving away from conventional wisdom. There is always a chance of market failure with non-traditional drivetrains/suspensions in trucks.

I do agree that Ford took the most cost effective way ahead. The Ecoboost line is the easiest way to meet emissions and MPG rules as turbo direct injection engines "test better" than normally aspirated engines. They also can get large V8 HP out of a smaller package. The EB 3.5 is slightly heavier (IIRC 6lb) than the 5.0 and is dimensionally similar. It allows them to offer an engine line-up that is globally marketable.

The potential downfall of the EB 3.5 is NOT reliability concerns but in the area of recent fine particulate testing. Preliminary studies in Europe indicate that TTDI engines emit as much if not more fine particulate than diesels. Ford would be screwed if their EB line has to run DPF and Urea.

"If you drive around empty, combined with short journeys, then yes the V6 gasoline Chev is better suited. That's about the only advantage the gasoline V6 offers."

@Big Al

You just described how the majority of half ton truck owners use their vehicles. Short trips, light or no payload, cold motor. Diesel is no advantage to the average half ton trucker.

There's a reason that we have not made the switch to diesel in a big way in this country--apart from moving freight.

I do beg to differ about the 3.5 Eco Boost being globally marketable.

We would use a diesel not an Eco Boost for the work the Eco Boost is expected to do.

The 3.5 Eco Boost is a US/Canadian engine only.

Maybe the 2.7 Eco Boost when it comes out will be more of a global engine. When the Falcon and Holden utes are gone I for see a niche market for the global Ranger with either the 2.7 Eco Boost or the Coyote V8.

A 2.7 Eco Boost Ranger would find some homes globally.

GM doesn't have an engine yet to drop into the Colorado to replace the V8 Commodore ute.

Toyota has had yrs to fix the bouncy frame and still haven't.The raptor frames where bent when dumbass's tried to jump them off of mts.I'd like to see a tundra even get a half foot off the ground.

@papa jim
A short trip is less than 5 miles.

Modern diesels are much better now than only 3-4 years ago.

With changes to injector pattern/timing and cam shaft timing diesel are warming up far quicker.

A V6 Chev is great if you live and work in the same town, other than that most Americans commute for over 20 minutes each way everyday to and from work or 50 miles daily.

When you take pensioners into account, the average for the working person is higher.

Looks like Tom Wilkinson at Chevy is working overtime at damage control for Chevy.

As for Old Man, I do not believe for one second you bought a 2014 Ram and turned right around and traded it for a 2014 Chevy. If you did you took one hell of a bath as I don't care what brand it is a dealer is going to rape you on the trade in.

So Ole Man either you took one hell of a bath on the trade in or the Chevy dealer knew how damn good those Rams are and gave you one hell of a deal to get your Ram on their lot so they can make some money on it.

The Chevy truck already looks stale to me, and it was just released. It does sound like they have an extremely efficient powertrain. Unfortunately the aging Ram is still a better looking truck. When it came down to dropping my own cash on a truck (Oct 2013). I went for the F150 Ecoboost, of which I am very pleased with. But If and when the Ram EcoDiesel's price settles down and inventory is actually existent, I will consider. Its funny cuz I remember when the Ecoboost was released, there were no inventory problems with it, Ford had no trouble supplying the masses with this pickup. Gm is in hotwater over this pickup. The HD's look like a better designed package. You really have to start wondering exactly who is calling the shots at the GM truck division.

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