General Motors, bucking moves by rivals, plans to end zero percent financing on remaining 2002 models after Sept. 3, GM dealers learned Thursday, according to the Detroit News.

After September 3, GM will offer 1.9% financing for 36 or 48 month loans, and 2.9% for 60-month loans on all 2002 cars and trucks, except Corvette, a source at GM and dealers told the Detroit News.

Cash rebates of $US1,000 to $4,000 on most 2002 GM models will continue to be offered, but rebates on full-size pickup trucks will be reduced to $2,000 on September 4, the newspaper said.

GM will announce its marketing program for 2003 models after September 3, a company source told the Detroit News.

The Detroit News said Ford last week started Detroit’s latest incentive war last week with cash rebates and low-rate finance terms on many 2003 models.

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The newspaper said that, by axing zero percent financing deals on remaining 2002 models, GM hopes to coax consumers into showrooms in the 12 days and clear out dealers’ lots, making room for 2003 vehicles.

GM’s move came less than a week after Ford extended its summer marketing programme to September 30, extended zero percent financing on most 2002 models, increased the cash rebate on several vehicles and introduced rebates and cut-rate financing on some 2003 vehicles, the Detroit News said.

The newspaper added that Chrysler on Wednesday expanded zero-percent financing on loans up to 60 months to include most 2002 models with the deals available to the end of September.