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GM Brings Truck Inventory Almost in Line With Year-end Target

General Motors Co., after increasing truck incentives in December, finished 2012 with its supply of pickups nearly in line with its goal while the automaker’s total inventory was 7 percent higher than planned.

GM warned last month that it might end the year with more inventory than it planned and its truck supply emerged as a test of GM’s discipline not to revert to old habits of heavily discounting vehicles to boost sales.

Sales of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups rose 8 percent in December compared with a year ago, GM said today in a statement. With the increased sales in December, GM ended the year with a truck supply of 221,649, the company said in a statement. The sell-down helps the company prepare to introduce redesigned versions of the pickups this year.

The company’s original goal was to sell down its pickup inventory to 200,000 to 220,000 by Dec. 31, giving it an 80 to 85 days’ supply on a selling-day adjusted basis. GM’s total vehicle supply at year-end was 717,025. Its forecast, which was increased in November, had been for as many as 670,000.

GM pickup incentives may have risen to as much as $5,000 per vehicle in December from less than $4,000 in November on Silverados, researcher’s estimated early last month. Aggressive Chevy dealers were able to put together as much as $7,000 in discounts on certain high-end trucks, Peter Nesvold, an industry analyst with Jefferies & Co., had said.

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