General Motors will give cash bonuses to its dealers who managed to achieve or exceed sales targets for the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, as part of the carmaker’s efforts to boost sales of the recently rolled out sedan. The so-called stair-step program, which also covers the Chevrolet Cruze, started Oct. 2, 2012, and will end Oct. 31, 2012. Dealers who exceeded the sales target have a chance to earn up to $1,000 per vehicle on a portion of their 2013 Malibu and Cruze sales. GM conducted a similar program for the Cruze and Malibu in September 2012, when it rolled off its high-volume Malibu model. Stair-step programs provide dealers with mounting bonuses if they could achieve factory-set sales targets. Under the current program, dealers who achieved 150 percent of their GM-set targets for Malibu and Cruze sales can earn $1,000 per vehicle on half of those sales.
Meanwhile, dealers who achieved between 100 and 150 percent of their target can earn smaller cash bonuses. However, the program has some dealers saying that it is unusual for GM to conduct a stair-step program on a freshly redesigned vehicle that is currently being featured in a national marketing campaign.
A Chevrolet dealer in the Southeast remarked to Automotive News that GM might be concerned that the Malibu has not been “getting enough traction on its own." As of Oct. 1, 2012 Chevrolet dealers had a 102-day supply of Malibus and a 51-day supply of Cruzes, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Through September 2012, Chevrolet posted a 4-percent drop in Cruze sales to around 180,600 units. In contrast, sales of Honda Civic grew 40 percent to 234,029.