DETROIT (AP) _ General Motors Corp. will begin offering a $2,002 rebate, replacing its just-ended zero percent financing program.
The cash rebate would be offered on all 2001 and 2002 GM vehicles, GM spokesman Jeff Roegner said Thursday.
The rebate is expected to cost the automaker less than the no-interest loans it had offered to counter fears that business would lag after Sept. 11.
Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG followed GM's lead on the zero percent financing program because of its popularity. Their financing offers are slated to expire within two weeks.
GM television commercials announcing the $2,002 rebates were aired early by mistake in Chicago on Tuesday, The Detroit News reported Thursday.
Analysts estimate the zero percent financing represents a savings of anywhere from $2,500 to $7,000 throughout the course of the loan.
Executives at all three major automakers have discussed wanting to de-escalate the industry's rebate wars. GM's latest program is an admission that heavy discounts are needed to keep sales from dropping, given the weak economy and the intense competition from Japanese, Korean and European rivals.