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GM increases prices as pickup battle rages

| Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

General Motors is adding a twist to the fight for supremacy in the red-hot pickup market: It's raising prices.

GM is adding almost $2,100 to the sticker price of the base 2014 Chevrolet Silverado. That's 8.5 percent above the price when the truck hit showrooms in the spring. Other versions of the Silverado, as well as the GMC Sierra, will undergo similar percentage increases.

Industry analysts suspect it's a marketing ploy. They expect GM to raise incentives next month so dealers can advertise big discounts and make customers think they're getting a deal.

The move comes after GM's pickup sales fell 8 percent in September while its two biggest competitors reported increases. Sales of Ford's F-Series, the best-selling pickups in the country, rose 10 percent and Chrysler's Ram posted an 8 percent increase. The Detroit Three dominate the nation's full-size pickup sales with 90 percent of the market. The Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan make up the remainder.

GM didn't offer the sweet deals Ford and Chrysler did last month, said Jesse Toprak, an analyst for auto pricing website TrueCar.com. Raising prices and then adding incentives is common in the business. And truck buyers especially like to get deals, Toprak said.

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