US automakers and dealers join Black Friday frenzy image

Automakers and their dealers are trying to join in the Black Friday shopping crazy, saving some of their better deals in hopes of luring shoppers out of malls and big-box stores and into showrooms.

General Motors, Ford Motor and Hyundai are among makers hoping to cash in on the traditional holiday shopping kickoff. The big day comes as they are clearing the last of 2013 models. This year, Black Friday is a day before the end of November, coinciding with end-of-month sales.

Ford says it is pushing Black Friday this year because last year it saw a 17% lift in sales compared with a typical Friday in November. Alec Gutierrez, a Kelley Blue Book senior analyst, says the Black Friday deals will be good, though not quite the “doorbuster” loss leaders other retailers promote.

Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC all have deals for the day being promoted on TV. Cadillac is offering a “Black Friday Cash” discount on all models. GM’s GMC truck brand is taking $5,000 off an option-filled Sierra 1500 Crew Cab for Black Friday.

“Rather than run a traditional holiday event, we felt specific Black Friday offers and advertising … would give our retailers a better chance to break through the (ad) clutter,” says Buick spokesman Nick Richards.

The “Black Friday Survival Guide” on Ford’s website offers customers up to $1,000 on a prepaid MasterCard that can be applied to the price of a new vehicle — or used for holiday shopping. Ford is focusing the Black Friday push online, says spokesman Wes Sherwood.

The South Korea’s Hyundai “Black Friday Week” special offers 0% financing for 72 months on four Elantra car styles this week.

Beyond the automakers, dealers are hauling out the balloons and bunting for the day. And, for sheer creativity, it would be hard to beat the annual used car promotion at Sterling McCall Toyota in Houston. People show up before dawn to wait for all the used cars’ doors to be unlocked at 7 a.m. Would-be buyers then can get in the car they want. At 9 a.m., the used car manager assigns each car a Black Friday price, which the person behind the wheel can take or leave. The big enticement? Three will be priced at just $1.

Via USA Today