Gms Zero-interest Financing Scheme Plus More

By: Noah Scott

General Motors, world's number 1 carmaker will offer zero-interest financing for most of its 2006 and 2007 models for as long as sixty months or five years. The carmaker has offered such financing scheme to cope with the 17% drop in its January US sales.

The 60-month, zero-interest financing has started Tuesday and covered models like the Chevrolet Malibu, Pontiac G6 and Buick Lucerne sedans and some of GM's heavy-duty pickup trucks.

Those GM models that are not included in the 60 month zero-interest financing will be covered by another financing scheme which is also zero-interest but with a much shorter covered term like 36 months. This zero-interest financing scheme of GM run through Feb. 20, 2007 only.

According to GM it has cut its excessive incentive spending last month as it tries to limit the programs just to help the company become profitable again. General Motors has already posted more than $13 billion in losses covering seven quarters through Sept. 30 as its US sales fell.

However according to market analyst Autodata Corp. of Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, General Motors has cut incentives by 21% last January averaging $2,221 per vehicle.

Not all of General Motors vehicles are included in the zero-financing scheme, those models that are sold in US Midwest and Northeast are eligible only for the $500 cash bonus. The models excluded in the no-interest financing are the following: HUMMER, Cadillac, Saab models, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky, Saturn Vue Hybrid, Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and medium duty trucks.

All of the vehicles included in the zero-interest financing of GM are equipped with top-of-the-line car accessories and auto parts like the popular .

More News on GM

Last Tuesday, a Merrill Lynch analyst has upgraded General Motors to "Buy" from "Sell" explaining that the automaker may be able to use its legacy and liquidity assets to foster improvements in the company.

Merrill Lynch's John Murphy further explained that the pension plan of General Motors is overfunded by almost $17 billion. Aside from that there is also a surging pressure to change health care benefits plus the likelihood for the legacy assets of GM to be leveraged further. "The resulting sentiment is increasingly more optimistic and is trumping our previous expectation of pressure early in 2007," Murphy wrote to investors.

Murphy also compared GM to its rival US automaker Ford saying that the latter shares have risen too high in relation to their near-term earnings potential. He further stated, "We view GM's equity as more attractive than Ford's as benefit of any concessions on retiree healthcare would be much greater for GM. Furthermore, GM is at a much better point in its product cycle and has a much richer surplus in its US pension, both which should lend near-term support for the stock."

The analyst also said that there is a possibility for GM to reach a retiree health care arrangement that is similar to that of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. although not that feasible but it could happen. The Goodyear health care agreement with its workers involves a $1 billion fund set aside for retirees and if ever approved by the federal courts, the tire company will begin a contribution in the form of stocks and cash. The advantage of such health care agreement is that a company like Goodyear will only have to pay a one-time contribution freeing it from paying any retiree benefits in the future.

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