General Motors Canada to offer customers $3,000 scrappage incentive

OSHAWA, Ont. - General Motors Canada is offering customers up to $3,000 off a new GM vehicle if they trade in their old clunkers, making GM the fourth automaker to offer its own scrappage incentive in Canada.

OSHAWA, Ont. - General Motors Canada is offering customers up to $3,000 off a new GM vehicle if they trade in their old clunkers, making GM the fourth automaker to offer its own scrappage incentive in Canada.

The company said consumers who scrap their old cars through the government's Retire Your Ride program will qualify for the rebate.

With the Wednesday announcement, GM joins Hyundai Canada, Chrysler Canada and Ford Canada in offering company-specific scrappage incentives.

GM's program provides consumers with a rebate of $500, $1,000, $2,000 or $3,000, depending on the vehicle they purchase.

To qualify, the scrapped vehicle must be a 1995 model or older, in running condition, registered and properly insured for the last six months, or 12 months in British Columbia.

Marc Comeau, GM Canada's vice-president of sales, service and marketing, said the new program builds on the success of an earlier program, under which GM partnered with the not-for-profit Clean Air Foundation to offer consumers $1,000 to replace their old vehicle with a new, more fuel-efficient GM model.

"GM Canada was the first automaker to support the Clean Air Foundation in their efforts to remove older, higher-polluting vehicles from our roads in order to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Comeau said.

The government's scrappage program offers $300 or other small incentives for consumers to retire their old cars. Environment Minister Jim Prentice has said Ottawa won't beef up the program despite the success of a similar US$4,500 incentive in the U.S., under which 700,000 new vehicles were sold.

Environment Canada is predicting 100,000 vehicles will have been scrapped under Retire Your Ride by the end of March, more than a year after it was introduced.

Meanwhile, the federal government said Wednesday a warranty guarantee program, designed to assuage consumers' fears during the restructuring of GM and Chrysler, has ended.

"The objective of the warranty program was to provide confidence to GM's and Chrysler's customers during a period of uncertainty while the companies restructured," stated federal Industry Minister Tony Clement.

"With both companies now emerged from bankruptcy protection, consumers are assured their warranty commitments will be honoured. Therefore, there is no longer the need for the federal government to continue with the Canadian Warranty Commitment Program."

Under the program, created in early April, the government said it would back consumer warranties on new vehicles purchased from GM or Chrysler. It was created in a period of great uncertainty in the auto industry, during which the future of either company was by no means assured.

Since then, both automakers have restructured under bankruptcy protection in the U.S. and with the aid of billions of dollars in government aid both north and south of the border. During the restructuring, both companies cut production dramatically. GM sold off many of its non-core brands, while Chrysler partnered with Italian automaker Fiat in an attempt to become financially viable going forward.

The Canadian program paralleled a similar U.S. guarantee, which has also ended.

 
 
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