General Motors this week confirmed, just hours after the Detroit News broke the story, that it would extend its "triple zero" incentive programme on most of its vehicles until January 2.

According to a Reuters report, GM offered no down payments, no payments for three months and no-interest loans in October in response to signs of slowing US car sales, saying at the time of announcement that the programme would expire yesterday (October 31).

Since then, according to Reuters, industry executives and analysts have said October sales [which car makers are expected to report from today] continued to appear slow, and could fall to their lowest rate so far this year.

Unlike past moves on incentives by GM, other major car makers did not rush to match the triple-zero deals, Reuters said.

According to the news agency, Ford offered a similar deal in September but left those interest-free loans and cash rebates mostly unchanged while DaimlerChrysler Chrysler brand also did not match GM's offer.

Reuters said such incentives from Detroit's Big Three and other car makers helped prop up US car sales but dragged down profits.

GM told Reuters its net prices in the third quarter fell by more than 2% from the same period a year ago while Chrysler reported that its revenues per vehicle fell by about 4% during the quarter.

GM spokeswoman Elaine Redd told Reuters this week that GM would extend the offers until January 2, confirming the report in Wednesday's Detroit News.

Redd also told Reuters that GM would announce the rest of its national marketing programme later today (November 1) when it announces October sales results.