If there is a right time to buy a Chevy pickup, that time is now. March 2014 is Chevrolet’s Truck Month—the automaker started a national promotion on March 1st, Saturday, wherein it will offer supplier pricing on all its Silverado pickups and other vehicles. The promotion will run until March 31st.
Through the promotion, buyers can purchase the 2014 light-duty and heavy-duty Silverados at the same price that General Motors (GM) offers to its suppliers’ employees. Supplier pricing is inclusive of the dealer invoice price, destination charge and a $150 program fee.
This proves to be the biggest discount that GM has ever given on the redesigned Silverado, but the auto manufacturer’s move is not entirely surprising. The heavy-duty pickup trucks are being discontinued to pave the way for the 2015 models, which debuted in January. Meanwhile, the light-duty version—redesigned after seven years—was released summer of last year.
Deals are not limited to pickups, though. The Truck Month sale coincides with Chevy Open House Event, which allows customers to get supplier pricing or even less for non-truck autos. Through this event, shoppers can save on all 2014 cars except for the SS sports sedan and Corvette.
In the summary sent to dealers, GM called the sale as ‘unprecedented promotional assault.’ Dealers were supposed to advertise the promotion using this line: “The price you see is the price you pay! Or less!”
Interestingly, in the same document, it was implied that Truck Month is necessary to get ahead of the competition, which are Ford and Ram. Both companies have offered generous discounts in the past and have taken some of GM’s market share. Dealers had to ask for more incentives and promotional events to sell more Silverado and Sierra units.
However, dealer participation in either the Truck Month or Open House is not mandatory. According to the summary, dealers that do participate are urged to hold gatherings at the dealerships or tie in the promotion with local events. Buick and GMC will participate in the Open House but not the Truck Month sale.
Aggressive promotion seems to be the right move for GM, as Chevy truck sales surely need a boost. GM continues to lose market share, especially in the large pickup segment. In the past few years, GM’s market share for the Silverado and Sierra was between 35 to 40 percent. In the last few months, it has been 33 percent or less.
The automaker hoped to recoup losses through more incentives. Based on data from J.D. Power, GM’s incentives increased less than one percent through February 14 compared to the same period in the month prior, amounting to $3,598 per vehicle. Incentive spending as a percent of the average purchase price also jumped 11.3 percent. Industry average is 10.2 percent.
According to Barclays Capital analyst Brian Johnson, GM’s lower than expected pickup sales can hurt the company’s bottom line. Sales have been low in January due to bad weather, and sales is expected to again report a decline in February despite the automaker’s Presidents Day sale.