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General Motors' Retail New-Vehicle Incentives to `Stay High,' Executive Says

August 17, 2004

General Motors Corp., won't be able to cut incentives spending much immediately, the automaker's incoming head of North American marketing said, according to a report in the Bloomberg News on August 14.“It's going to stay high for a while, that's the way the market is shaping up,'' Mark LaNeve, the company's new vice president of North American marketing and advertising, told reporters last night in Carmel, Calif. The company hopes incentive spending will go down as new models are introduced, he said.LaNeve was promoted from his current post as head of the automaker's Cadillac division. He assumes his new job on Sept. 1 and succeeds John Middlebrook, who was named to the newly created post of vice president of global sales, service, and marketing. Middlebrook was on the General Motors team that developed no-interest auto loans to restart stalled car and truck sales after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The company spent $4,631 per vehicle in incentives in July, according to CNW Marketing Research in Bandon, Ore. The company this month boosted incentives on some cars and trucks to as much as $6,000 after July sales rose less than 1 percent.“We're going to stay competitive'' LaNeve said of the company's marketing efforts. The company may vary its marketing, he said. “From time to time, we're going to have a big compelling offer out there, that's more of a GM offer in the marketplace,'' he said. “Other times, it's going to be a divisional focus' on specific company brands,” he said.
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