General Motors has added new base prices for four models to make them more appealing to sticker-conscious buyers and to offer fiercer competition for rivals.
The Chevrolet Cruze and Equinox, the Buick LaCrosse and GMC Terrain all have new base models, GM slashing between $1,500 and $2,600 from their old listing prices, the Detroit News reported.
The 2015 Chevy Cruze L starts at $16,995 with shipping, around $1,500 less than the LS, which was the previous base model. The Equinox has also gotten a new L trim level and a cost reduction of $2,400 for a new starting price of $22,995, including delivery fees.
The price updates "are part of a larger strategy to better attract buyers when cross-shopping vehicles," a Chevrolet spokeswoman told Automotive News, describing the new base packages as "certainly not stripped down."
For the 2015 model year, the GMC Terrain begins at $24,995 with shipping, reflecting a price reduction of $2,500, while the Buick LaCrosse's price drops around $2,500 in the new base model offering.
In some cases, the new base models undercut competitors' prices; for example, the Cruze L is $2,320 less than the least expensive Honda Civic LX option, while the base LaCrosse 1SV is $1,220 less than its Toyota Avalon rival, according to the Detroit News.
Cutting prices "expand the brands' bandwidth so we can better compete in the market and reach those more value-conscious customers," said a Buick and GMC spokeswoman.
GM selected features to eliminate based on customer feedback, removing the floor mats, XM satellite radio and spare tire, according to Automotive News. The LaCrosse 1SV equipped with the V-6 engine now has 17-inch wheels instead of 18-inch.
The Cruze L and Equinox L are especially important since compact and compact sport utility vehicles are in vital segments for the American market, Chevrolet spokeswoman Annalisa Bluhm told the Detroit News.
"Both L trim-level options give us a great chance to introduce the brand to new customers with competitive products featuring unexpected features," she said in an email.