DETROIT -- GM and Ford throttled back incentives on new cars and trucks slightly Nov. 2 after steep discounts in September and October helped the automakers pare down inventories of remaining 2004 models, according to an article in the Detroit News newspaper.

General Motors reduced rebates by $500 on some 2004 cars and trucks and discontinued cash bonuses for financing through GMAC on 2005 vehicles, but raised rebates on mid-size sport/utility vehicles to $2,000. Low-rate financing options were virtually unchanged from last month´s “Truckfest” program, according to GM spokeswoman Deborah Silverman.

GM also is running a regional direct mail campaign to selected customers, offering to pay up to $1,000 toward their payments for up to three months. All the offers run through Jan.3, 2005. Ford Motor Company extended most of its offers that expired Nov. 1 until Nov. 30 or Jan. 3, 2005, according to spokesman David Reuter.

Since early October, Ford has offered cash rebates of $2,000 to $6,000 on 2004 model Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles, and zero to $2,000 on 2005 models. Ford reduced rebates by $500 Nov. 2 on several models, including the 2005 Explorer and Expedition sport/utility vehicles.

GM and Ford are easing up on rebates after both companies lowered fourth quarter production to help reduce inventories. Through October, GM had an estimated 92-day supply of vehicles on dealer lots, according to Wards Automotive Reports. Ford had a stockpile of cars and trucks to last 90 days and DaimlerChrysler AG´s Chrysler Group is at 91. A 65-day supply of cars and light trucks is considered optimal.

The Chrysler Group said it raised rebates slightly on a few vehicles, including the Dodge Ram pickup truck. The rebate for that vehicle increased $250 to $1,750, according to spokesman Kevin McCormick. The automaker also offers a $1,000 bonus on several vehicles financed through Chrysler´s finance unit. The offers expire Nov. 30.