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GM Hopes to Decrease Use of Discounts on U.S. Models

September 10, 2003

General Motors Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner said a strengthening U.S. economy could allow GM to ease off discounts on its U.S. models, although he and other senior GM executives attending

the Frankfurt Auto Show said GM would remain aggressive in the U.S. and European markets, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"Normally we took [the impact of] recessions in

volume. Now, we did not take the volume down. We took prices down," Wagoner said in an interview with the Journal.

In past recessions, auto sales fell 30 percent from peak to trough and then would rebound as the economy recovered, he said. In the most recent slowdown, GM and other auto makers sustained sales volumes by cutting prices.

As the economy recovers, "maybe we get some easing off of incentives. Does that happen with 2004 [models]? I hope so," Wagoner said, according to the Journal.

GM is launching most 2004 models this month, and has announced scaled-down discounts for many of its cars and trucks. "We'll see how it goes," Wagoner said, according to the Journal.

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