- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 1, 2005

DETROIT (AP) — In an attempt to boost sluggish sales, General Motors Cop. said yesterday that it will offer the same discount it gives to its employees to anyone who buys a new GM car or truck in the next month.

The program includes all GM vehicles except the Chevrolet Corvette and GMC medium-duty trucks, the world’s largest automaker said. The offer runs through July 5.

“We want to bring the focus back to what drives our business: great cars and trucks,” said Brent Dewar, GM North America’s vice president of marketing and advertising. “This program gives everybody a chance to drive the vehicles we drive and pay the price we pay.”

GM said the new price will be prominently displayed on vehicles at dealerships. Consumers can get additional incentives on top of the lower prices, said Paul Ballew, GM’s executive director of global market and industry analysis.

Mr. Ballew said that in some cases consumers could get up to $7,000 or $8,000 off the standard retail price of the vehicle.

“Our challenge in the marketplace is breaking through with consumers,” Mr. Ballew said. “It’s vital for GM to break through the clutter. Our products are better than they are perceived.”

Despite high marks in recent quality surveys, GM has had sluggish sales so far this year. The company, which posted a $1.1 billion loss in the first quarter, reported yesterday that May sales fell 5.4 percent from the year-ago period.

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