Domestic Winners and Losers
So who, in my great and highly respected opinion, are the domestic winners and losers for the end of the 2005 model year? What a great question, if I should say so myself. It is pretty obvious, and if it isn't to you, aren't you lucky to have me around to explain it.
Loser #1 - GM. Simply put, GM is the biggest loser of the three hands down. With a product line that is still boring and basically unchanged, GM still doesn't have anything really exciting to bring to the table outside of the Z06 Corvette and the Pontiac Solstice (which, by the way, still isn't better than the MX-5 Miata).
In addition, they have not adhered to the plan of Value Pricing. Value Pricing was the plan announced in the midst of the Employee Pricing plan. The idea was to rid the line of any high incentives and price the vehicles with a true price. By doing this, GM could stabilize their products and the resale/market value of their products in the long run. Instead, GM announced mid November their "Red Tag" event. The "Red Tag" event allows the buyer to see the lowest price of the vehicle in the window of the car and takes out all the calculations. This particular price is well under the MSRP and not a list price like the Value Pricing program would be.
Too bad GM. You will be dethroned in the American market by Toyota inside of six months.
Loser #2 - FoMoCo. Although FoMoCo is not as bad off as GM, they too have problems that need to be fixed. Unlike GM, FoMoCo has a real hit on their hands with the new Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan/Lincoln Zephyr (all built off of the Mazda 6 platform, a successful car in it's own right). With new competitive product available on the market and finally getting rid of the Taurus line of cars, FoMoCo can move on and compete.
However, they too need to adapt a Value Pricing plan to stabilize their market/resale values and put themselves on the right track. Like GM, they have a "Keep it Simple" pricing plan similar to the "Red Tag" event. With this particular plan, they will also continue to jeopardize themselves by continuing to allow the customer to expect high incentives to buy product. If they can get away from this after January 3rd, they too will move in the right direction.
The only Domestic winner - DamChry. That's right, Daimler Chrysler. Besides having the most intriguing product line available amongst the three domestic manufacturers, they have not succumbed to high incentive selling. Well, at least not as much.
DamChry has introduced their "Miles of Freedom." This plan is not a discount pricing plan, but rather an extended bumper to bumper warranty, free maintenance, and two years of free gasoline. Although still an incentive, it will not have a detrimental effect on the market/resale pricing of their vehicles, a crucial step in the right direction. To me, DamChry is #1 of the big three. Maybe not in volume, but definitely in terms of common sense.
MSN has a nice article outling the big three's promotions here. I advise you check it out should you choose to purchase a domestic vehicle this season.