General Motors is facing a mid-March sales slump and weaker spring outlook so is extending employee discounts to family members of dealer employees who buy a new car or truck by the end of the month, the Detroit News reported.

The newspaper said the GM Employee Purchase Plan is generally available only to eligible GM employees, retirees and their family members, employees at over 8,000 North American dealership employees and workers at suppliers doing business with the car maker.

According to the Detroit News,under the plan, vehicles can be bought at prices below the dealer's cost. On a Chevrolet Cavalier, for example, the savings could be $US800 to $1,000. For an Avalanche, the savings rises to $1,500 to $2,000, according to the paper.

The Detroit News noted that GM's US sales fell 19.2% last month from February 2002 and, for the year, are down 12.2%.