GM’s Sales Chief Says Killing Incentives Will Save the Company

Susan Docherty, GM sales chief, told MSNBC that she thinks GM’s best bet to make its cars more appealing to consumers is to use incentives like low interest rate car loans and cash rebates less. She also acknowledged that GM’s reliability is a problem, but said that GM’s newest vehicles will be much better than the ones sold in the last few years.

Docherty said that only 449 people have taken advantage of the money-back guarantee GM recently announced for all of its new cars and trucks. GM has sold 142,000 vehicles since the program launched, meaning that less than 1% have been returned. GM is using heavy incentives right now to sell off its remaining 2009 inventory.

She said that 65% of the cars on GM dealer lots are 2009 models, while competitors typically have between 20% and 40%. Limiting sales to rental car companies is another way GM plans to convince customers its cars are exciting and interesting. Rental cars are usually seen as boring, and hurt a brand’s image. GM has kept the Impala on for years despite basically replacing it with the Malibu in order to sell it to rental companies and other fleets.

So what do you think? Is GM’s plan to cut back on incentives like low interest rate car loans a good plan? Can they cut down on their sales right now in order to save the brand? Or will the plan backfire when the already struggling company tries to limit its sales in the short run?

Either way, now is the best time to buy a GM. These heavy incentives will be gone soon and if you decide you don’t like the car. You can always give it back and go buy a Honda or Toyota.