General Motors has added new sales incentives to spur demand after its US sales fell more than 15% in June, dealers reportedly said.

GM has cut lease payments on some vehicles by as much as $US1,500 to boost sales, one Michigan Buick dealer told Reuters.

“We’ve been calling customers from last month, and we’ve been able to drop their payments by $30 (a month) or more,” the dealer reportedly said.

GM also extended an offer to buy out the remaining months on lease contracts for consumers whose lease expires before March next year if they buy a new GM vehicle, dealers said, according to the report.

Other dealers told Reuters they expected the automaker to announce new cash rebates and interest-free loans soon.

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“They said there is supposed to be some extra money coming out,” a Chevrolet dealer in Michigan told Reuters after talking to a GM sales official.

A GM spokesman told the news agency the automaker would announce new offers on Wednesday. Ford, which posted an 11% drop in its US sales for June excluding its foreign brands, is also expected to announce new incentives later this week, a Ford spokesman reportedly said.

Reuters noted that GM and Ford’s US sales fell further than both the company and industry analysts expected due to lower incentives last month and an ageing lineup of pickups and SUVs. Both automakers have lost market share to Asian rivals this year. Following June’s weak sales, company officials reportedly acknowledged that they were unlikely to recover the lost share.

Even the upswing in the US economy may not cause incentives to roll back much, because there is little pent-up demand due to the lucrative sales offers, analysts told Reuters.

June’s poor sales caused inventories of unsold cars, trucks and SUVs to grow to above-normal levels, leading analysts to predict that the Detroit automakers may be forced to cut production later this year, in addition to boosting incentives, the report said.

“Weak sales in June have driven inventories high once again, repeating the boom-bust pattern that has plagued the industry since the outbreak of zero percent financing after September 11th (2001),” Merrill Lynch analyst John Casesa wrote in a research report cited by Reuters.

Following a similar build-up in inventories in April, the industry unveiled higher incentives in May, which caused sales to soar to a nine-month high. “We expect the same response (with new incentives) in July,” Casesa reportedly said.